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Lawmaker pushing for seat belt law following Thursday’s rollover bus crash

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Fox59 is investigating after a bus crash sent a dozen people to the hospital Thursday.

The bus swerved to miss a semi truck that was changing lanes and rolled as it veered off Interstate 65.  A look inside the bus after the crash showed heavy damage inside and out and broken glass everywhere.

Indiana State Police said all 12 passengers on board, including five children were wearing seat belts, and suffered minor or non-life threatening injuries.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says traditional buses use a safety design called compartmentalization.  It provides a protective envelope with strong, closely-spaced seats that have energy-absorbing seat backs.

Small school buses, like the bus from Lafayette, must be equipped with lap or shoulder belts.

“The rollover possibilities are greater in this style of bus than, if you will, other transit style buses that are by far and away the vast majority of buses any school district has in their fleet,” said Chuck Hibbert, school safety expert.

State Representative John Bartlett, D-District 95, said his school bus seat belt bill didn’t make it to committee in the last legislative session, but he plans to re-introduce it in the next session.

The U.S. Department of Transportation says school buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school.