Fifth grader Naomi Goodloe, 11, gets ready for a 22-mile bus ride to school from her Northwoods, Mo., neighborhood. Approximately 20 percent of school buses are equipped with seats belts. (AP photo).

Seat belts save lives. Using one is "the single most effective way" drivers can prevent death in a car accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government agency charged with keeping motorists out of harm's way.

Yet when 26 million American children return to their classrooms aboard school buses over the next few weeks, chances are they'll be heading to school unbelted.

Only about 20 percent of the nation's 480,000 school buses have seat belts available, and only six states –- New York, New Jersey, California, Texas, Louisiana and Florida -– have laws that begin to address seat belts on school buses.

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SAFETY FIRST: Shouldn't The NHTSA Require Seat Belts On School Buses?

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