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Proposal: Buckle up on school buses

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Todd Mishler | October 6, 2013

DELAVAN — California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Louisiana and Texas have seat belt laws for school buses.

State Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, wants to make Wisconsin No. 7.

Cullen began circulating legislation in early September to make seat belts mandatory on all newly purchased school buses.

“The fact that we are required to wear seat belts in cars, yet allow our children to roll down the road at 55 mph without them is completely outrageous to me,” Cullen said in announcing his proposal, which since has received co-sponsors and is awaiting action in the Senate Transportation Committee.

“This is the beginning of a process, but I'm optimistic that it will get a public hearing,” said Cullen, whose 15th District includes Janesville, most of northern and western Rock County and Whitewater and the town of Whitewater in Walworth County. “Sure, there's opposition to it, but my feeling is that someday, it could be this year or next year, but that it will become law.

“If we had a bill to repeal (seat belts) in cars and trucks, it wouldn't have a chance,” he added. “Right now, every little baby from the time they leave the hospital is in a restraint system of some kind, so it's amazing to me that we don't have the same expectation for our kids when they ride a school bus.”
 
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