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Duckworth: Seatbelts save lives. Plain and simple. For decades, NHTSA has recognized the critical importance of seatbelts, includ- ing the benefits of seatbelts on large school buses. I was happy to see NHTSA publish its notice and I hope it expands this effort to school buses. Many of the argu- ments we hear against seatbelts on buses are reminiscent of those we heard decades ago against requir- ing seatbelt usage in passenger vehicles.


STN: Your bill calls for a grant program to assist school districts in paying for the safety technology. How much will be allocated and what would be the share of school districts?


Duckworth: The legislative pro- cess will help to clarify the resourc- es needed to implement these pol- icies. But I have full confidence in the ability of our states, local school districts and parents to use the programs established in this bill to maximize safety for our children.


STN: Anything else you would like to add?


Duckworth: It’s important for par- ents to understand that large school buses, with or without seatbelts, are by far the safest mode of transpor- tation compared to alternatives, such as driving with a parent or walking to school. However, large school buses are not perfect. Lives are lost because students are not buckled in, and I believe our na- tion should never settle for “good enough” when it comes to saving lives. If we can make a system safer, we should. My bill would also send a critical message to children in Illinois and throughout the country, that whenever one travels—whether by car, motor coach or bus—they should buckle in. We won’t be able to ingrain these good habits if school buses lack seat belts.


STN: Thank you. • 16 THE SHOW REPORTER • NOV 2-5, 2019 4


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1. David Cooper of the Transportation Security Administration discussed school bus security threats that state directors need to be aware of.


2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler spoke to NASDPTS attendees on children health concerns tied to school bus emissions.


3. Kimberly Rentner of Tyler Technologies shared information about the company’s technology solutions.


4. NASDPTS conference attendees used their downtime to visit the Washington Monument and other historical sites.


5. Kristin Poland of the National Transportation Safety Board addressed attendees on school bus crash investigations.


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