TN congressman introduces school bus seat belt bill - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

TN congressman introduces school bus seat belt bill

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A Tennessee congressman has introduced a school bus seat belt bill designed to help protect school children.

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, who represents Tennessee's 9th U.S. Congressional District around Memphis, is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

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Cohen introduced the Bring Enhanced Liability in Transportation for Students (BELTS) Act to help protect children who ride on school buses. 

The bill would create federal grants to purchase new school buses with lap/shoulder seat belts or equip existing ones with such belts and creates federal grants to equip school buses with motion-activated detection systems, according to a news release. 

The bill would also direct the Secretary of Transportation to withhold 10% of a state’s apportionment of certain federal-aid highway funds if the state has not enacted a law that requires the employer to conduct background checks before hiring school bus drivers. 

Additionally, the bill would direct the Secretary to withhold 10% of federal highway funding if the state has not enacted and is not enforcing a law that imposes specified first offense and second offense civil or criminal penalties for motorists found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus.  

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