Widely known as a provider of lap/shoulder restraint seats for school buses, IMMI announced that its SafeGuard line will soon feature the ability for customers to purchase base seat benches that can be easily upgraded to include the seat belt systems.
The inner module of the base SafeGuard XChange seat can be easily removed and replaced with a lap/shoulder belt configuration, which will allow school districts and bus contractors on the fly to meet any future district requirements or new state regulations. An IMMI spokesperson said the new XChange will be launched this summer, with the seat expected to be first displayed at the Texas Association for Pupil Transportation 38th Annual Conference, June 24 through 29 in Galveston.
James Johnson, IMMI’s vice president of sales, said the name of the game for school bus operators is increased versatility for their changing school bus seating needs.
“No matter what a school district or contractor needs for the future, XChange provides more options than ever before to give school districts a simple, practical means of adding lap-shoulder belt seats and integrated child seats to their buses,” he said. “In essence, we’re offering a future-proof seating solution.”
Currently, the seat is undergoing final compliance testing. The company spokesperson added that the XChange is expected to start rolling off the production line this October, coinciding with the effective date of the revised NHTSA regulation on school bus occupant protection that will require three-point, lap/shoulder belts on small Type A buses and that will publish standards for the voluntary installation of lap/shoulder belts on larger school buses.
The XChange is the latest innovation from the company that introduced in 2003 the STAR seat with flexible add-on restraints for pre-school-aged children on school buses and the FlexSeat in 2007 to address the issue of student rider capacity in school buses when using seat belts.
“IMMI has always taken a leadership position to innovate revolutionary solutions to real world problems,” Johnson added.