What to Know
- A new law in New Jersey will require all newly-built school buses to have lap and shoulder seat belts
- The measure was taken after a May crash that killed a teacher and a 10-year-old student
- Gov. Phil Murphy signed the bill into law on Saturday, his office said
New Jersey will require new school buses to have lap and shoulder seat belts — a measure taken after a May crash that killed a teacher and a 10-year-old student.
Lap seat belts are already required by the state, but the law signed Saturday will require all newly built school buses to have shoulder seat belts as well — a configuration known as a “three-point seat belt.”
“We will never know if a three-point belt would have saved the lives of Miranda Vargas and Jennifer Williamson, or whether they would have prevented serious injury to so many others on May 17,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement.
“Every child and every educator and adult chaperone deserves our best effort to protect their safety and the best possible chance of emerging unharmed in the unfortunate event of a school bus accident,” he added.
The driver of the bus was charged with two counts of death by auto.
“We know that lap belts are not enough to keep kids safe in a school bus crash,” Sen. Sam Thompson said in his own statement. “I’m glad that Governor Murphy has signed this measure into law.”