Press Release
December 2, 2013


Sen. Grace Poe has filed a bill that seeks to ensure the safety and protection of school children in school buses nationwide.

Poe's proposed "School Bus Safety Act of 2013" mandates the installation of seat belts for student passengers in all school buses and the promotion of seat belt use.

"We must provide utmost protection to our school children by ensuring basic safety standards for all school buses nationwide," Poe stressed.

In her bill's explanatory note, Poe said, "It is the objective of the State to promote public safety in the transportation of passengers, particularly school children. It is, thus, essential that the State shall prescribe minimum design standards of school buses for the safety of student passengers."

Section 5 of Poe's bill states, "Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) shall prescribe regulations requiring driver seat belts and passenger seat belts (including lap safety belts or other child safety devices meeting applicable government safety standards) for each seating position in any newly manufactured school bus."

The bill also requires the promotion of seat belt use in school buses, "The DOTC, in consultation with appropriate safety organizations and parent-teacher organizations, shall conduct a program to promote and encourage the use of seat belts in school buses."

Under Poe's bill, the DOTC shall also prescribe proficiency standards for school bus drivers who are required to possess a professional license to operate a school bus.

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