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New Mexico Bill Would Require Seat Belts On All New School Buses

Arvind Balaraman

Commentary: SANTA FE – Ensuring the safety of New Mexico’s students is the goal of House Bill 265 (HB 265) introduced by Representative Jack Chatfield (R-Mosquero) and Representative Bill Rehm (R-Albuquerque). HB 265 would require that all new school buses purchased after January 2020 must come equipped with seat belts. Additionally, more safety features will be required including stability control systems and collision avoidance systems.

“My children are expected to be safely buckled when they’re in a personal vehicle, it should be no different for a school bus,” said Rep. Chatfield. “Every parent deserves to know we are doing all we can to keep our children safe when they are on the bus.”

“We must protect what is most valuable, our children,” said Rep. Rehm. “Automatic braking and traction control will add more safety to school bus travel.”

In 2018, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended to all states that large school buses be equipped with seat belts. Currently eight other states require seat belts in school buses.

HB 265 is currently in the House Education Committee.