Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to immediately regulate the use of seat belts in school buses, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
Section 7B of chapter 90 of the General Laws, as amended by chapter 136 of the acts of 1985, is hereby further amended by adding the following two paragraphs:-
No school bus having seating accommodations for more than sixteen school pupils equipped with passenger restraint systems shall be operated on the ways of the commonwealth unless said passenger restraint systems meet the requirement of one passenger restraint system for each seated passenger; and the minimum requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for buckles, belts, and seats. Only anchorages and seats installed as original equipment at time of manufacture of the school bus, or retrofitted by the original manufacturer of said school bus shall be used. No school bus manufactured before nineteen hundred and seventy-seven equipped with passenger restraint systems shall be operated on the ways of the commonwealth.
In addition to the requirements of the preceding paragraph, every school bus having seating accommodations for more than sixteen school pupils manufactured or retrofitted with passenger restraint systems after July first, nineteen hundred and eighty-six shall have sets of belts at each seat which are distinctively color coded; and each such belt shall consist of one nonadjustable buckle end no longer than twelve inches and one adjustable end no longer than twenty-nine inches; and each seating position adjacent to an aisle shall have the nonadjustable buckle end mounted on the aisle side; and each passenger restraint system shall comply with the minimum requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for anchorages.