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GHSA News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2007

Contact: Jonathan Adkins
(202)789-0942, jadkins@ghsa.org

State Highway Safety Group Concerned About Financial Impact of Proposed Safety Rules for School Buses

Statement for Attribution to Christopher J. Murphy, Chairman of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)

WASHINGTON, D.C.—GHSA commends Secretary Peters for the Department of Transportation’s proposed new safety rules for school buses. The general proposal to make school buses safer by requiring higher seat backs and setting new seat belt standards is welcomed by state highway safety offices.

One part of the proposal that concerns GHSA is the section that applies to large school buses. According to Secretary Peters, school districts that decide to add seat belts could apply for existing federal highway safety grant funds to cover the cost of the additional safety equipment. While this use of grant funds is not new, the additional focus on the issue may cause states to be pressured to spend federal highway safety money for this purpose to the detriment of many competing highway safety needs. GHSA advocates spending highway safety money on the areas that will have the greatest impact on saving lives. These are programs directed at the three critical highway safety areas: drunk driving, occupant protection for the general population and speeding. GHSA urges the Secretary to advocate new funding for school bus safety equipment with Congress in the Administration’s transportation reauthorization proposal.

The Association will be submitting formal comments regarding the proposed regulations.

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The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)® is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy and enhance program management. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit www.ghsa.org.