An investigation into a fatal crash between a school bus and a service utility truck that killed two—including a seven-year-old child—has led the National Transportation Safety Board to reiterate past recommendations.

The NTSB is renewing its 2018 recommendation for passenger lap and shoulder belts on new, large school buses as well as its call to require systems that prevent lane departure on heavy vehicles.

“This case is a gut-wrenching reminder that failure to act on our recommendations can lead to unimaginable — and preventable — tragedy,” said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy.

“School buses are often praised for their safety record, but we’ve become complacent. Children’s lives are at stake. The time to act is now.”

On October 27, 2020, a school bus driver and a seven-year-old child died when a service utility truck collided with a school bus, in Decatur, Tennessee.

As a result of the investigation, the NTSB is recommending the following measures to improve the safety of children traveling on school buses:

  • Equipping lane departure prevention systems on new vehicles with gross weight ratings greater than 10,000 pounds.
  • Lap and shoulder belts for all passenger seating positions in new, large school buses.
  • ​All buses and trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds to be equipped with onboard video event recorders for school officials to periodically review to ensure that students engage in safe transportation behaviors on school buses.