The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lou Marzeles
Editor 

McCabe set to propose seat belt law

 

Contributed

SAFETY FIRST: Even though school buses remain the safest way to transport kids to and from school, Rep. Gina McCabe says there is more to be done.

Take a bunch of glass Christmas ornaments and put them in a large box, then shake the box violently. That's kind of like what happens to kids on a school bus when one gets into a serious accident-and that's because most school buses do not have seat belts. They are not required in Washington State. And kids are thrown

about loosely when their bus hits something. "It's incredibly dangerous, and it's also incredibly unnecessary ," says State Rep. Gina McCabe (R-Goldendale). McCabe will introduce legislation next session that would provide for a way to pay the expense of installing

seat belts on all state school buses. Her plan, being worked out in conjunction with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, will call for cameras to be installed on school buses to catch drivers who illegally pass the buses when they're stopped and flashing their red lights. That could be a lot of drivers and a lot of money. "It's money the state could make off something that is a major concern for school bus drivers," McCabe says. And the money would help pick up the tab for installing seat belts. McCabe wants three-point belts, like those used in cars. While studies show that school buses, with or without seat belts, are still the safest way for students to travel back and forth to school, all experts agree that seat belts would be safer still by far.

 

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