This week, the United States experienced three fatal accidents involving buses carrying school children. The spate of crashes during the holiday season heightens the urgent need for Congress to take action before the end of the year and pass the bipartisan Secure Every Child Under the Right Equipment Standards (SECURES) Act of 2018. The bill will require all school buses to have three-point lap-and-shoulder seat belts and encourages innovative measures to ensure that students are actually wearing their seat belts while on school buses.
“The evidence couldn’t be clearer: seat belts in school buses save lives. Congress should be doing everything in its power, including passing the SECURES Act, before the end of the year, to help protect our children in New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, Arkansas, and across the country. Department of Transportation studies concluded that adding lap-and-shoulder seat belts to school buses will save lives. How many more fatal school bus accidents do our families have to endure?” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5).
In Indiana on Wednesday, a school bus carrying children to a Christmas musical was hit from behind by a truck, killing a teenage boy.
In Illinois on Wednesday, a school bus carrying a girls basketball team collided with a semi-truck, killing two.
In Arkansas on Monday, a bus carrying a youth all-star football team overturned, killing one child and injuring 45 others.
In May, Gottheimer announced his bipartisan SECURES Act following the Paramus bus accident that killed two in North Jersey, including Miranda Vargas. Gottheimer also introduced Miranda’s Law, a bill that will require automatic notifications of driver violations to school districts and school bus companies within 24 hours, so they can take immediate action to keep unsafe drivers off the road and away from our children. With Gottheimer’s assistance, the New Jersey Legislature passed a series of bills that would raise safety and accountability standards on all school bus operators, local school districts, and school bus drivers in New Jersey.