State moves ahead with bus seat belt plan - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

State moves ahead with bus seat belt plan

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - State officials say they're moving forward with a plan to equip new school buses with seat belts.

The Texas Education Agency said Friday it's implementing the program now that the legislative budget board has spelled out how to distribute the money.

A high priority will be given to vehicles that gain the biggest safety benefit from seat belts, such as small buses and motor coaches. There's also a priority for buses in counties with a high number of serious crashes, along with other factors.

The law applies to buses purchased as of Sept. 1.

Lawmakers allotted $10 million. Because of budget cuts TEA says only $3.6 million is available. TEA spokeswoman Debbie Graves Ratcliffe says if demand exceeds that, the agency will find money elsewhere in its budget.

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