Every year in the U.S. there are as many as 5,000 children injured in accidents while they are riding in a school bus, as well as a handful of fatalities, according to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A New Jersey congressman is pushing a plan to make school buses safer.

Following the horrific school bus crash in 2018 on Route 80 involving a bus from a Paramus elementary school that resulted in the death of 10-year-old Miranda Vargas, U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. 5th District, sponsored the Secure Every Child Under the Right Equipment Standards Act, SECURES, that requires three-point lap-and-shoulder seatbelts on school buses nationwide.

He said the recently passed INVEST in America Act by the House of Representatives means “the Department of Transportation will be studying this and determining that if indeed it is safer with lap and shoulder belts, which we know to be true, that they will issue new regulations requiring them.”

Since the accident that also took the life of a teacher and injured dozens of other students, New Jersey and a handful of other states have enacted new laws requiring three-point seatbelts on new school buses, but many states still do not have such a requirement.

“We looked at a lot of studies done, the evidence is clear, it saves lives,” he said.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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