SENATE BILL No. 180
By Committee on Transportation and Tourism
AN ACT relating to school buses; requiring seat belts.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
Section 1. (a) In addition to the requirements in federal motor ve-
hicle safety standard no. 222 (49 CFR 571.222), every school bus pur-
chased on and after the effective date of this act, shall be equipped with
seat belts of the lap belt type for each seating position on such buses that
are in conformity with applicable federal standards. The state board of
education shall adopt rules and regulations for the design and installation
of seat belts that are in conformity with applicable federal standards.
(b) On and after the effective date of this act, bid specifications for
the purchase of any school bus subject to the provisions of this section,
shall include the requirement for lap seat belts.
(c) Every passenger on a school bus which is equipped with lap seat
belts shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt that is in con-
formity with applicable federal standards at all times while the bus is in
(d) Nothing in this section shall make the owner or operator of a
school bus liable for failure to properly adjust and fasten a seat belt that
is in conformity with applicable federal standards for a passenger who
sustains injury as a direct result of a passenger's failure to comply with
the requirements established by this section except that nothing in this
subsection shall be construed to grant immunity from liability for failure
(1) Maintain in operating order any seat belt equipment required by
this section; or
(2) comply with any applicable law or rule and regulation concerning
seat belt requirement under this section.
(e) Nothing in this section shall require any school bus in operation
or purchased prior to the effective date of this act to be retrofitted with
lap seat belts as required by this section.
(f) The state board of education shall develop and implement a school
bus safety program covering such subjects as loading zone behavior, be-
havior when boarding, being discharged from and being transported in
school buses, and the proper use of seat belts.
(g) For the purpose of this section:
(1) ``Bus'' means every motor vehicle, as defined in K.S.A. 8-126, and
amendments thereto, which is designed for transporting more than 10
passengers in addition to the driver; and
(2) ``school bus'' means every bus designed primarily for the trans-
portation of pupils, students or school personnel to or from school or to
or from school-related functions or activities. This definition includes
every such bus which is owned by a school district, or privately owned
and contracted for, leased or hired by a school district, and operated for
such transportation, and every such bus which is privately owned and
operated for such transportation, but does not include within its meaning
any bus designated in paragraph (4) of subsection (c) of K.S.A. 72-8301,
and amendments thereto.
Sec. 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after Jan-
uary 1, 1998, and its publication in the statute book.