State to require seat belts on school buses, Dubuque School District has a head start

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) -- State lawmakers approved a law which will require all new buses purchased by school districts to have seatbelts.

The Dubuque Community School District has eight school buses that are outfitted with seat belts (Allison Wong/KCRG)

The Dubuque Community School District has gotten a head start on this change. The DCSD orders eight new buses each year. Last year, it decided to order them with seatbelts.

Transportation Manager Ernie Bolibaugh said those new buses came in this summer and are being used now. He says it was about $5,000 more than buses without seatbelts, totaling $89,000 each.

However, he thinks it keeps kids safer in many ways.

"They're not up or moving around on the bus quite so much," Bolibaugh said. "They're in their seats all the time and that, you know keeps their attention more in the seat and not the entire bus."

District officials looked into installing seat belts into all of its buses but decided against that because of the cost.