NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- New Albany Floyd County Schools is testing brand new school buses outfitted with seat belts.

While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration doesn't require seat belts on school buses, as part of a pilot program, New Albany Floyd County joins 15 other districts in the state that use them.  

"They're basically just like your car seat belt," said Eric Reid, Transportation Director for the district. "So the students will get on the bus, and they'll reach over and click it just like they do when they get in their cars."

The seat belts are designed to keep students safe and in their seats. and the district hopes it'll cut down on discipline issues.

"We're hoping that with the seat belts on there, that they're not gonna be getting up out of their seats, doing too much, not turning around talking to their friends as much ... in the event of a safety issue," Reid said. "We're hoping that with the students seated, there's less distractions for the drivers."

Buses are replaced every 12 years. Those with seat belts cost an extra $8,000 to $10,000, which Reid said comes out of the district's bus replacement fund.

The testing period starts at the beginning of next school year.

"We're gonna do six months, and we'll look at the data of six months of last year, like the first six months of school, and maybe compare the discipline issues and see if those have dramatically changed," Reid said.

If it works, all new buses will have seat belts moving forward.

Students will be on the new buses by the first day of school at the end of July. Parents with children on those routes will receive a letter from the district. 

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