New HISD buses have 3-point seatbelts

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Just like cars, school buses must get a passing grade before hitting the road.

"Every bus is inspected before the first day of school," said HISD transportation manager Nathan Graf..

Each of the 1,100 HISD buses gets a tune-up right before the first day of school. That inspection includes checking everything from the brakes to the on-board security cameras.

"Every school bus has about seven cameras. We have three to four on the inside, and three to four on the outside as well," said Graf.

The newest safety feature to come to the buses are potentially life-saving three-point seat belts that strap across the waist and shoulder.

Houston Independent School District to require students to wear seat belts on school bus

All new buses purchased by HISD must have them after the September 2015 school bus crash along the 610 South Loop that killed two students.

Sixty-three brand new buses have been added to the fleet this year, all with three-point seat belts.

HISD buses also have special features to make sure all of the students have left the bus before it returns to the barn. Before the buses can be turned off, drivers have to walk to the back of the bus and push a button. This forces the driver to walk to the back of the bus to make sure no children are left behind.

Each HISD bus is also equipped with GPS.

But transportation managers say the biggest factor in student safety is the driver behind the wheel. HISD bus drivers go through first aid and CPR training, so if there is a crash, can they provide medical aid before paramedics even arrive.

"They get that hands-on training, so when a situation comes up, they know exactly what to do."