The proposed rule calls for three-point seat belts lap and shoulder restraints on all new buses smaller than 10,000 pounds within three years. School districts would be allowed to choose whether to design the belts into larger buses that are purchased after that time, Peters said.
Smaller buses, which are more prone to rollovers than larger buses, have had lap belts installed since 1977 under federal guidelines.
Federal highway safety money will be available to help offset the cost of having three-point belts installed on larger buses, Peters said. Adding seat belts costs about $10,000 per bus.