Parents push for school bus seat belt requirement after NJ crash

Posted: Updated:
NYACK -

Some Hudson Valley parents are pushing for school districts to require students to buckle up on school buses following a deadly bus crash in New Jersey.

New York is one of a few states that require school buses to be outfitted with seat belts, but state law leaves it up to each individual school district to decide on whether to enforce wearing them.

News 12 checked with several school districts in Rockland County: Nyack Public Schools, Clarkstown Central, Nanuet and Suffern Central School District are all in line with state law and train students to wear seat belts. However, bus monitors are not on every bus, and the school districts do not require students to wear seat belts.

"If it's not mandatory, and they don't have to do it, they are not going to necessarily opt to do it," said Deana Valente, a Sloatsburg parent.

The National Transportation Safety Board released a report Tuesday that recommends New York upgrade the type of belts required on buses from lap-only belts to shoulder belts, but the report said nothing about requiring students to wear them.

There is currently a bill proposed in the state Senate that would require students to wear seat belts when a bus is in motion.

"We got to make sure children are safe," said Sen. David Carlucci. "I'm gonna be working with my colleagues on legislation to require that seatbelts be worn across New York State."

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