Missoula County Public School Buses Equipped with seat belts

MISSOULA- With the 2018-2019 school year about to start, school buses newly outfitted with seat belts will be ready to go. Staff say buses are already a safe way to travel, but it's an extra safety measure in case a rollover happens.

The fleet of buses serving MCPS now feature 37 school buses with seat belts. Thirty buses were retrofitted, and seven are new buses that came with seat belts. Regulations already require short buses to have seat belts.

In February, Missoula County Public Schools drafted plans to add seat belt to buses transporting students to ensure safety while traveling.

During the early planning stages, it was estimated that it would cost $10,000 for a bus to be retrofitted with seat belts. 

The new seat belts are just like the ones you'd see in a regular car. Each seat has two seat belts for two kids, and all it takes is a simple strap in to buckle up.

Missoula County Public School officials say this is all in an effort to keep our kids safe.

"Statistics show that buses are very safe already, but if they do happen to roll the seat belt makes it even that much more safe. We figure that we want to make transportation getting to and from school and activities is as safe as we can make it,” Burley McWilliams, Director of Operations and Maintenance for Missoula County Public School said.

When kids return to school next week, they will be getting some light lessons on how to properly buckle themselves in, as well as bus etiquette.

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