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org

April 12, 2017
Via electronic mail

Senate Committee on Transportation
Attn: The Honorable Robert Nichols, Chair
Texas State Capitol
SHB 450
Austin, Texas 78701

Re: Written testimony in support of SB 693 by Sen. Garcia; safety for Texas children

Dear Chairman Nichols and Members of the Committee:

Texas Watch is a non-partisan, non-profit citizen advocacy organization. Since 1998, we have sought to
protect the rights of consumers and ensure public safety. We submit this written testimony today in
support of SB 693 by Sen. Garcia because this legislation ensures increased safety for Texas children.

SB 693 is common-sense safety legislation acting on what Texans already know to be true: that seat
belts save lives. Children across Texas are told with each car ride to “buckle-up.” Yet once they arrive
on their school buses, many Texas children are left without this important safety measure. Most Texas
school buses lack seatbelts, putting the lives of Texas children at risk.

The Texas Department of Transportation preaches the importance of seat belts to ensure Texans’ safety
on our roads. TxDOT reports that wearing lap and shoulder belts, combined with air bags, is the most
effective way to reduce fatalities and serious injuries in traffic collisions. Providing seatbelts for children
on our school buses not only improves their safety while traveling to school, but also instills the good habit
of buckling up elsewhere.

Some Texas school districts are already taking the much-needed steps to ensure their students’ safety
by installing seatbelts on their school buses. Texas cannot afford to have the rest of our districts lag
behind in promoting the safety of our children. Their lives are too precious.

We respectfully ask you to promote the safety of Texas children by voting yes on SB 693.

Very respectfully,

Victoria “Tori” Sommerman
Deputy Director

cc: Members of the public and press
WHITE SETTLEMENT ISD
3 STUDENTS INVOLVED

A SNAPSHOT 11.15.16
DENTON ISD
OF SCHOOL 2 STUDENTS INJURED
2.28.17
MOUNT PLEASANT ISD
BUS 18 STUDENTS INJURED
3.24.17
CRASHES TEAGUE ISD
35 STUDENTS INVOLVED
3.2.17 CONROE ISD
58 STUDENTS INVOLVED
DAYTON ISD 3.31.17
9 STUDENTS INJURED
9.29.16
BEAUMONT ISD
23 STUDENTS INJURED
4.5.17
MADISONVILLE ISD CROSBY ISD
15 STUDENTS INVOLVED 16 STUDENTS INJURED
CALDWELL ISD 10.21.16 9.23.16
11 STUDENTS INVOLVED
2.10.17

SCHOOL BUS

2015-2016
SCHOOL BUS
CRASH DATA
DATA FROM TEXAS “WEARING LAP AND SHOULDER BELTS
EDUCATION AGENCY
(COMBINED WITH AIR BAGS) IS THE
MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO REDUCE

108
STUDENT INJURIES WITH NO
FATALITIES AND SERIOUS INJURIES IN
TRAFFIC COLLISIONS.”
- TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF
SEAT BELTS TRANSPORTATION

42 WEARING SEATBELTS
STUDENT INJURIES WITH LAP
ON SCHOOL BUSES
BELTS ONLY CREATES A SAFE HABIT
FOR CAR USE.
7 VOTE “YES” ON SB 693
STUDENT INJURIES WITH
3-POINT BELTS
Leg. Adv. paid for by Texas Watch, Ware Wendell, Executive Director,
815 Brazos Street, Suite 603, Austin, Texas 78701