“There has been a big shift in the industry … the state and all your national organizations are recommending school buses have seatbelts,” Transportation Director Dean Lewis said. “I think it’s more important in your more serious type collisions; keeping the kids in those seats is very important.”
In 2017, Texas joined other states in passing a law that required new school buses have seatbelts. Lewis said during the presentation that he had once heard kids who are not wearing seatbelts in an accident where a bus rolls over compared to clothes in a dryer.
The news buses were partially funded by a Texas Emissions Reduction Plan grant, which awarded the school district $369,000 for the new buses, which in total cost $544,735. The remaining cost will be paid for through the district’s general fund.
The grant, which is paid for by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, requires that the district retire five of its older buses. The buses chosen for replacement have been in commission from 17-19 years, according to the district’s board documents.