LAKE TRAVIS, Texas — Aug. 14 is the first day back to school for students with Lake Travis Independent School District, and before the kids even step foot in their first class, they'll see changes on their way to school, starting with the moment they get on the bus.
All buses, new and old, now have seat belts installed in them to provide for a more secure ride back to school.
When the Texas legislature passed Senate Bill 693, it called on all Texas school districts to install seat belts on any school bus purchased after September 2017. As a result, when Lake Travis ISD passed its $253 million bond last fall, they devoted more than $10 million to transportation services.
This included the purchase of 51 new school buses -- all equipped with seat belts -- as well as the installment of three-point seat belts on some of the older buses. They removed more than 600 seat backs to the get the job done. In total, more than 100 LTISD school buses have been equipped with two-point lap seat belts or three-point lap and shoulder seat belts.
"It's just an added measure of safety because we consider safety our top priority," said Rhonda Davis, director of transportation services for the district. "All of our drivers have been trained so when they get on the bus and start school Wednesday morning they will be taught to 'click, tug and snug.'"
Davis said the installment of seatbelts had been well-received among parents well ahead of the new school year.
"They're very excited that their students get that extra or added safety when they get on the school bus," said Davis "We will be strongly encouraging and recommending all the students to wear the seat belts when they get on."