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La Crosse school’s bus company split on seat belt recommendation



An investigation of a pair of deadly school bus crashes from 2016 has led to a new recommendation for seat belts in school buses.

Michael Wolfert with Go Riteway, the bus company for the La Crosse School District says the National Transportation Safety board’s recommendation might not be the safest.

“If you take 60 students on board that are buckled in and you have some type of severe accident or fire, time is certainly working against you in how quickly you could act to get those students all unbuckled,” Wolfert said.

He also said equipping the buses with seat belts wouldn’t be cheap.

Right now, buses with over 29 passengers, which includes school buses, do not require seat belts.

It’s the first time the board has made the recommendation.

Wolfert also added that seat belts could lead to students using them as a weapon, or they could simply unbuckle themselves unbeknownst to the driver.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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