Santa Monica school buses ARE required to have seat belts but only in cases where the school bus was manufactured from 2004 and on. School buses manufactured before 2004 are not required to have seat belts installed.
California Vehicle Code Section 27316 defines seat belt requirements for school buses throughout the state of California. The law applies to all school buses purchased or leased for use in California. The law requires lap-shoulder belts on:
- School buses manufactured on and after July 1, 2005 that are designed for carrying more than 16 passengers and the driver, and
- All other school buses manufactured on and after July 1, 2004 that are designed for carrying not more than 16 passengers and the driver.