Senate OKs Metts bill on bus driver training

STATE HOUSE – The Senate today unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Sen.
Harold M. Metts meant to ensure that all school bus drivers know how to safely
adjust seat belts and secure equipment for students with special medical needs.
Senator Metts introduced the legislation as a response to a situation brought to his
attention by a constituent who could not get a satisfactory solution to her concerns
about her daughter’s safety on her school bus.
The student’s mother, who was concerned that the seat belt was across her child’s
neck and that her oxygen tank and wheel chair were left unsecured on the moving bus,
said the bus driver had been told not to touch the adjustments on the seat belts.
His legislation (2016-S
would require that the annual training already required for school bus drivers in
Rhode Island include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s school bus
driver in-service training series, which would properly instruct drivers about their
responsibility to adjust seat belts on buses for special-needs students and how to
secure equipment like oxygen tanks and wheelchairs.
«This may seem like a very small thing, but for those who send their children with
special medical needs to school on a bus every day, it’s a very frightening
situation. No child should be endangered on a bus that’s designed to keep her safe.
Those who are charged with responsibility for children, especially children with
special needs, must be properly trained in using safety equipment to protect them,»
said Senator Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence).