Eric Schlegel

The Texas Senate on Wednesday passed legislation requiring three-point seat belts be installed on newly purchased school buses across the state. 

Senate Bill 693, authored by Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, cleared the chamber in a 25-6 vote following strong pushback from one Republican who suggested seat belts make buses less safe.

“Seat belts save lives,” Garcia said on the floor.

Why Don't More Texas School Buses Have Seat Belts?

Apr 21, 2017
Nathan Bernier/KUT

For nearly a decade, there have been efforts in Texas to require seat belts in buses. 


But this time might be different.


At a hearing earlier this month, Democratic state Sen. Sylvia Garcia presented a bill requiring three-point seat belts for all newly purchased school buses in Texas. They’re the same over-the-shoulder seat belts already required in other motor vehicles.


Photo by By Daniel Reese for KUT News

Today marks the beginning of another "Click it or Ticket" campaign, a two-week undertaking by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to enforce seat belt usage. 

In Texas and across the country, law enforcement will be on the lookout for drivers and passengers shirking seatbelt laws, or whose children are improperly restrained. (Children under eight years must be in a child safety seat, unless they are taller than 4'9".) Citations run up to $250.

The NHTSA writes on its website that in the annual “Click It or Ticket” initiative, over three million tickets have been written over the last five years – a ticket every other second.