TRENTON, NJ (CBSNewYork) – A hearing on school bus safety in New Jersey was held Monday, one month after a horrific crash left a Paramus fifth grader and a teacher dead.

Lawmakers on the state senate and assembly transportation committees are pushing for safety upgrades on school buses.

On May 17, 10-year-old Miranda Vargas and teacher Jennifer Williamson were both killed when their school bus driver allegedly tried to make an illegal U-turn on Route 80 in Mount Olive.

10-year-old Miranda Vargas died in the Mount Olive bus crash on May 17, 2018. (Credit: CBS2)

“I asked what happened to the bus. I asked what happened to my friends and asked if I was going to die,” one of the students who was on the wrecked bus recalled during Monday’s hearing.

“Driving here today from across the state I’m sure each of you, like myself, pulled the seat belt over your shoulder and clicked it in without much thought,” Assemblywoman Lisa Swain said. “How is it possible that this accepted standard of safety for all passenger vehicles is not required for our children on buses?”

Currently, New Jersey law requires passengers to use lap seat belts on all school buses. A measure introduced last month would require three-point lap-and-shoulder seat belts on those vehicles moving forward.


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