“Texas Seat Belt Law Fails to Protect Students”

November 17, 2015


This KXAN investigation focused on an important safety concern for many parents in Texas – seat belts on school buses. Out of a fatal bus crash years ago, parents and lawmakers crafted a law to require those safety devices on every new bus in Texas. But KXAN discovered, the state funding to pay for those belts is gone, and the law has barely belted in any students – despite the fact that the federal government is now recommending belts on buses nationwide. Parents who lost their children on that crash poured their hearts out, pleading with lawmakers in KXAN’s initial investigation and followup. Throughout, we hold those responsible accountable (including a special investigative edition of our political show), resulting in a promise from the lawmaker who authored the original law to fix the problem to protect students and prevent further tragedy. Additionally, KXAN discovered hundreds of school districts are breaking the law every year, not reporting their bus accident and injury numbers to the state – so we used our resources to find that information ourselves, compile it and make a user-friendly tool online for parents in all 34 districts in our viewing area to see their school’s safety records – something even the state cannot provide.

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Submitted by Josh Hinkle

Headliners Foundation