Governor Signs Bill by Senator Hill Requiring Commercial Bus Drivers and Passengers to Buckle Up in Vehicles Equipped with Safety Belts

October 08, 2017

For Immediate Release – Office of State Senator Jerry Hill – October 8, 2017


Governor Signs Bill by Senator Hill Requiring Commercial Bus Drivers and Passengers to Buckle Up in Vehicles Equipped with Safety Belts

California Becomes the First State to Pass the Law That Heeds NTSB Recommendations

Sacramento – Governor Brown signed legislation today by Senator Jerry Hill that requires the driver and passengers in commercial buses equipped with seat belts to wear the safety devices.

“This is commonsense legislation that will save lives,” said Senator Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, of Senate Bill 20.

California is the first state to follow the National Transportation Safety Board’s 2015 recommendation that all states enact laws requiring seat belts on commercial buses to be worn by passengers as well as drivers.

The NTSB underscored the recommendation in its report on the January 2016 bus crash in San Jose that killed two passengers. The vehicle was equipped with seat belts, but the people who lost their lives were not wearing the safety devices and were ejected from the bus during the crash.

Seat belts are required for all new buses under a rule by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that took effect in November 2016. However, neither the rule nor California law had required the safety devices to be worn, a gap addressed by SB 20.

The legislation makes failure to buckle up in a commercial bus an infraction that’s punishable by a fine of up to $20 on the first offense and a fine of as much as $50 for subsequent offenses

SB 20 takes effect on January 1.

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Resource:

Bill Text of SB 20:
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB20

SB 20 Fact Sheet:
http://sd13.senate.ca.gov/sites/sd13.senate.ca.gov/files/sb20_factsheet.pdf

Media Contact: Leslie Guevarra, 415-298-3404 cell, leslie.guevarra@sen.ca.gov