Bill waiting for Gov. Parson’s signature hopes to increase school bus safety

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A bill passed by the Missouri Legislature would create a task force that would focus on school bus safety, if it’s signed by Gov. Mike Parson.

It would look at ways to improve safety on school buses. That could include how effective seatbelts are, how easy it is for passengers to escape during an emergency, as well as other safety concerns.

Sen. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, sponsored the bill.

“It’s important to remember that the first seat many Missouri students take at the start of their school day is not in the classroom, but on the school bus. Ensuring the safety of our students is critical,” Razer said. “With that in mind, I am thankful for the support of my fellow legislators in both the House and the Senate in getting this legislation across the finish line. I look forward to working on this task force and finding ways we can improve school bus safety for all Missouri students.”

If signed by Gov. Parson, the legislation requires the task force to meet at least three times a year. The seven members of the task force would need to compile an annual report with recommendations and submit it by Dec. 31 of each year.

The bill was attached to another bill before it was passed. The entire bill can be found online.

The Missouri Highway Patrol is responsible for inspecting thousands of school buses across the state every year. In 2020, buses had an overall passing rate of around 90%, but the inspections only look at the condition of the actual vehicle.

The proposed task force would also look at ways to improve safety and steps other states are taking.

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