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Senator Sam Thompson

Thompson Bill Requiring Three-Point Lap and Shoulder Seat Belts in School Buses Advances

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Sam Thompson (R-12) requiring new school buses to be equipped with three-point lap and shoulder seat belts was approved by the Senate Education Committee.

Sen. Sam Thompson’s legislation would require three-point lap and shoulder seat belts on new school buses. (Flickr)

“This legislation is a common-sense measure to ensure that children have the same protections on school buses that parents provide in their own family cars,” said Thompson. “Kids deserve to be safely secured in age- and size appropriate seats and restraints regardless of whether they are riding in a car or school bus.”

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Senator Sam Thompson

Senate Approves Thompson’s Plan to Improve School Bus Safety

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Measure Requires 3-Point Seat Belts in New School Buses

Legislation sponsored by Senator Sam Thompson requiring three-point seat belts in new school buses has received final legislative approval from the New Jersey Senate.

Sen. Sam Thompson’s legislation requiring three-point seat belts in new school buses has received final legislative approval from the New Jersey Senate. (SenateNJ.com)

“I’ve worked for the past five years to address a glaring safety deficit in the school buses that our children ride every day,” said Thompson (R-12). “When this measure is signed into law, students riding a bus will finally have access to the same lap and shoulder seat belts that we trust to protect them in their family cars.”

Thompson first introduced the legislation, S-233, in 2013 following a pair of school bus accidents in Old Bridge.

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Senator Sam Thompson

Thompson Says Action Likely on School Bus Seat Belt Legislation

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New NTSB Report Recommends New Jersey to Require Lap & Shoulder Belts on School Buses

Senator Sam Thompson said action may finally be taken on legislation he sponsors to require all new school buses to be equipped with three-point lap and shoulder seat belts.

Sen. Sam Thompson said action may finally be taken on his legislation requiring all new school buses to be equipped with three-point lap and shoulder seat belts. (SenateNJ.com)

I’ve been trying for four years to pass common-sense legislation to protect students on school buses with three-point seat belts,” said Thompson (R-12). “It appears likely that upcoming legislative hearings on school bus safety will consider my proposal to give kids the same protections on a school bus that they have in their parent’s car. That’s the indication I’ve received from Senate leadership. It’s a welcome development.”

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Senator Sam Thompson

Thompson to Dems: End Double Standard & Allow Same Protections for Kids on School Buses as in Cars Under New Law

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Senator Sam Thompson (R-12) is calling on Senate Democrat leaders to finally address legislation to give children the same lifesaving protections on school buses that are now afforded in family cars via Senate Democrat Jim Beach’s new law.

Sen. Thompson’s legislation would implement seat belts recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics for children riding in school buses, just as a newly enacted law implemented the AAP’s seat belt recommendations for children riding in cars. (©iStock)

While Senator Thompson applauds the signing of Beach’s S-2026 — a bipartisan measure that Thompson voted for to modernize child safety belt laws in passenger vehicles — he questions why Democrats have denied a vote on S-632 to similarly implement the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations for children riding in school buses.

“In the two years since I introduced S-632 to require all new school buses to include the same three-point lap and shoulder belts we have in our own cars, we have seen a slew of school bus accidents in New Jersey,” said Senator Thompson. “By passing S-2026, this legislature has shown that when it comes to our children’s safety, we are willing to reach across the aisle and work together to make passenger vehicles safe and secure for young children across New Jersey. Why wouldn’t we now work together in the same way to pass legislation to keep children on school buses just as safe from harm?”

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Senator Sam Thompson

Editorial: Thompson Urges Committee to Vote on Bill to Require Schools Buses to Have Same Seat Belts as Family Cars

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The following editorial by Senator Sam Thompson on legislation that would require all new school buses to include three-point lap and shoulder belts was published in the Times of Trenton on March 13, 2015:

As our communities grow concerned over yet another New Jersey school bus crash, I am trying to do everything possible to ensure the passage of legislation to keep our children secure and safe every time they step onto a school bus.

Sen. Sam Thompson’s legislation would implement recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics that all new school buses be equipped with lap/shoulder seat belts. (Caitlin Regan/Flickr)

In 2013, I introduced S632, which would require all new school buses to include three-point lap and shoulder belts, following school bus crashes in Chesterfield and a pair in Old Bridge, and others more recently in Bergen and Mercer counties. On March 9, a school bus was struck from behind by another vehicle in Lumberton (“School bus turns over in Lumberton,” March 9, nj.com), flipping the bus onto its side, reportedly injuring one of the three students who were on board.

It is clear that children in school buses are in no way immune to dangers of the road faced by all other motorists and passengers and that our next generation must have the same protections no matter what vehicle they are traveling in.

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Senator Sam Thompson

Thompson: Kids Deserve the Safety of Seat Belts & Harnesses in All Vehicles

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Senator Sam Thompson (R-12) said that the New Jersey Senate is sending conflicting messages regarding its concern for the safety of children riding on Garden State roads and highways.

Sen. Sam Thompson has expressed concern that the New Jersey Senate has failed to hear legislation to implement recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics that all new school buses be equipped with lap/shoulder seat belts. (Caitlin Regan/Flickr)

The Senator commended the Law & Public Safety Committee’s passage of legislation (S-2026) sponsored by Senator James Beach (D-6) that updates state laws regarding the use of child safety seats in passenger vehicles to match current recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), but questioned the Senate Education Committee’s refusal to hear similar legislation (S-632) that addresses the AAP’s recommendations regarding the need for seat belts in school buses.

“Our kids deserve to be safely secured in age- and size-appropriate seats and restraints regardless of the type of vehicle they are riding in,” said Thompson. “Injuries caused by school bus accidents are not uncommon, but they are preventable. It is mind boggling that the Senate has not taken action yet.”

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Senator Sam Thompson

Thompson to Introduce Legislation Requiring Lap/Shoulder Seat Belts in New School Buses

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Citing Recent Old Bridge School Bus Crashes, Thompson Says Measure Would Offer Increased Child Safety

Senator Sam Thompson said that recent school bus accidents in Old Bridge, including a crash in which several children were injured, has prompted his introduction of legislation to make school buses safer. The bill, which is being drafted, would require all new school buses to include three-point lap and shoulder seat belts.

Tow trucks hoist a flipped school bus following an accident on Rt. 9 on January 10, 2013. (NJ.com)

“Parents put their children in infant seats and booster seats to make sure they’re protected in their own cars, but when they send a child onto a school bus, all the child has is a lap belt to keep them safe from harm,” said Thompson. “Parents shouldn’t have to give up the expectation of safety when their children board a bus for a daily ride to school.”

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Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Kip Bateman

District 16

Chris Brown

District 2

Anthony Bucco

District 25

Gerald Cardinale

District 39

Kristin Corrado

District 40

Michael Doherty

District 23

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Steven Oroho

District 24

Declan O'Scanlon

District 13

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Robert Singer

District 30

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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