Ala. bus seat belt study hits bumps, rolls along

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama's three-year pilot study on school bus safety is rolling along after hitting a few bumps in its first two months.

The state is performing an unprecedented $1.4 million study to see if seat belts would be a benefit for the 25 million kids who ride buses to and from school nationwide.

Drivers in the study have complained that higher seat backs make it harder for them to see their passengers and researchers have found the seats sometimes block out cameras meant to record students' belt usage.

Some cameras were also mounted badly or positioned in ways that made them unable to record the student's actions.

University of Alabama civil engineering professor Dan Turner is heading the study and said the camera problems have been fixed and researchers have started receiving data from the school systems.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) AP-NY-10-17-08 1703EDT