School Bus Occupant Protection: Taking Safety to a New Level

July 23, 2015

School buses are the safest form of school transportation, but the addition of three-point seat belts could take safety to a new level. NHTSA is holding this meeting to update the current state of knowledge in recent advances in the technology of three-point belt systems, identify operational and policy challenges and solutions, and explore innovative funding approaches that could serve as a catalyst for change.


8 – 9 a.m.

Location:  Front Lobby Visitor Center

9 – 9:15 a.m.
Welcome and Opening Remarks

Speaker:  NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind Administrator Rosekind's Opening Remarks (PDF 106 KB)
Location: Media Center

9:15 – 9:40 a.m.
NHTSA Overview on School Bus
Occupant ProtectionNHTSA Presentation: Seat Belts on Large School Bus (PDF 850 KB)

Speaker:  Shashi Kuppa, Division Chief, Special Vehicle and Systems Division NHTSA Presentation: Seat Belts on Large School Bus (PDF 850 KB)

9:40 – 10 a.m.
National Transportation Safety BoardPresentation-Seat Belts on School Buses: NTSB Crash Investigations (PDF 5 MB)

Speaker:  Kristin Poland, Ph.D., Senior Biomechanical Engineer, Vehicle Performance Division, Office of Research and Engineering Kristin Poland, Ph.D. Biography (PDF 245 KB)

10 – 10:15 a.m.
Morning break

10:15 – 11 a.m.
Expert Panel Experiences and Perspectives:

  • National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS)
  • National School Transportation Association (NSTA)
  • Local School Transportation Directors

Speakers: Expert Panel Speaker Biographies (PDF 85 KB)
Leon Langley, NASDPTS PresidentLeon Langley Remarks (PDF 200 KB)
Ronna Sable Weber, NSTA Executive DirectorRonna Sable Weber Remarks (PDF 111 KB)
Tom Cohn, Director of Transportation, Helena (MT) Public SchoolsTom Cohn-Three Point Seat Belts On School Buses (PDF 1.2 MB)
Bob Downin, Director of Transportation, Columbus (IN) Public SchoolsBob Downin-Lap-Shoulder Seat Belts On School Buses (PDF 5.6 MB)

11 – 11:45 a.m.
Challenges to Implementation

Large group discussion
Facilitator: Brian Chodrow

11:45 – 1 p.m.

1:15 – 2:45 p.m.
Breakout Sessions: Overcoming the Barriers

Group #1: Media Center
Group #2: W42-302
Group #3: W40-302

2:45 – 3 p.m.
Afternoon break

3 – 3:45 p.m.
Reconvene and Report out on Breakout Sessions

Facilitator: Kristin Kingsley
Location: Media Center

3:45 – 4 p.m.
Closing Remarks

Speaker: NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind


Morning Session 9 – 11:45 a.m.


Afternoon Session 1:15 – 4 p.m.