U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters on Nov. 19 proposed new rules to improve the safety of school bus seats and expand the use of shoulder belts, but she declined to order that all new buses include seat belts, the Associated Press reports. Peters said she wants to increase the height of seat backs on all school buses from 20 inches to 24 inches to help protect children during accidents. She also proposed a new requirement for short school buses to begin using shoulder straps. For longer buses, she proposed giving states the option of using federal highway safety funds to purchase new buses with seat belts–but she didn’t promise that any new money would be added to those funds to help cover the costs…

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