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Slater Announces Comprehensive Plan To Enhance School Bus Safety

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Buses American Government Topics:  Rodney E. Slater

Slater Announces Comprehensive Plan To Enhance School Bus Safety

August 7, 1998

NHTSA 41-98
Thursday, August 7, 1998
Contact: Phil Frame
Tel. No. (202) 366-9550

While school buses continue to be one of the safest forms of transportation in the United States, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater today unveiled a comprehensive school bus program to enhance safety for passengers and pedestrians.

"Safety is President Clinton's highest transportation priority," said Secretary Slater. "We are committed to providing the nation's school children the safest school transportation possible."

The plan, developed by the department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, addresses the safety of children inside and outside the school bus. Efforts are focused on pedestrians because, compared with occupant fatalities, three times as many school bus-related deaths occur while children are getting on or off the bus.

The agency will continue to develop and implement programs that address pedestrian safety, grant programs that support community efforts to reduce the number of motorists that illegally pass school buses, and training and licensing programs to improve driver skills.

NHTSA also has begun an extensive research program to study occupant protection systems for school bus passengers. One objective of the plan is to improve current school bus crash data to better define the types of crashes that produce injuries to occupants and evaluate the effectiveness of current Federal crash protection requirements.

The research plan also will evaluate new school bus occupant crash protection systems in controlled laboratory tests that represent real-world crashes. Based on those tests, NHTSA may propose new occupant protection requirements for school buses if overall safety can be improved.

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