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We haven’t touched on the subject of lap belts in a while. So let’s see what’s happening.

The Avon Lake City Council in Ohio, at its latest meeting, unanimously agreed to support a pilot program for Avon Lake City Schools that will install lap-shoulder belts on school buses. The program includes the purchase of two 72-passenger replacement school buses with lap-shoulder seat belts, which was passed by the district’s board of education on Feb. 12.

Rudy Breglia, a citizen advocate with the School Bus Safety Alliance, who was honored at the beginning of the meeting with a certificate from Mayor Greg Zilka, has been advocating for lap-shoulder belts since November 2016, when he first learned of the fatal school bus crash in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that killed six students and left more than 20 others injured.

Breglia said the city is “providing a model that will encourage other districts and cities to step up and enhance their children’s safety by starting a lap-shoulder belt installation program.” He also said that Ohio is at a turning point in terms of school bus safety, noting the recent efforts of Beachwood City Council in approving lap-shoulder belts in school buses.

Beachwood City Council passed legislation in December to require lap-shoulder belts on all new school buses by providing up to $250,000 in funding to pay for the equipment.

The legislation, which was initially prompted by classroom discussions among city council members and third grade students, marked the city as the first in the state to implement such efforts. The buses, which are expected to be ordered this spring, would be used as for field trips and events.

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