WESTFIELD, Ind. – A Westfield manufacturer of seat belts for school buses wants to double their number of employees ahead of the school year.
Immi staff said more employees are needed as more school districts make the decision to install seat belts on their school buses. The company wants to fill 55 new full-time positions.
"They understand that kids are now traveling on the interstate unprotected moving from field trips to sporting events to performing arts and other activities,” said Julie Cooley of Immi. “Now, they're going 60 miles an hour and these kids are not protected by seat belts."
Indiana does not have a federal or state requirement for safety belts on their buses, but districts like Clark-Pleasant Community Schools ordered lap-shoulder belts for six of their buses in Westfield.
“As far as discipline, it's improved about 85 percent because they have to stay in their seats,” said Bob Downin of Clark-Pleasant Community Schools.
Indianapolis Public Schools installed seat belts on 100 of their school buses in June 2016, despite the hefty price tag.
Many districts said one of the biggest reasons for the lack of seat belts lie in the cost. Officials said it cost $7,000 to $10,000 per bus to have belts installed.