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School bus seat belts not cost effective, expert says

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By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Some highway safety experts say seat belts are not the best way to protect children on school buses.

Wednesday Governor Matt Blunt said he wants to require all new Missouri school buses to have seat belts.

But Ray Mundy with the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Missouri--St. Louis says school buses are already quite safe.

"School buses are actually very well constructed, with rollover characteristics and beam supports that make them one of the safer vehicles on the highway," Mundy said. "They're also up off the highway. They have big tires and the school bus sits up."

Mundy says the most cost-effective way to improve safety is to install cameras to monitor activity on and off the bus.

Those can be used to better train drivers, and as evidence in an accident.

Two-way cameras cost about $1,000 apiece, whereas seatbelts for a bus may cost around 10,000 dollars.

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