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House votes against allowing school bus ads

Published January 31, 2011 1:35 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

HB199 • Utah school buses might stay advertisement-free for the time being.

The House voted 44-27 Monday against HB199, which would have allowed school districts to sell advertising space on the exteriors of school buses.

Rep. Jim Bird, R-West Jordan, had hoped to pass the bill as a way to help raise additional money for school districts. The Legislature's fiscal analyst estimated that school-bus ads could produce as much as $3.3 million a year for schools ($750 to $1,500 per bus annually).

The bill would have required the advertising to be "age appropriate," prohibiting ads containing sexual and political material as well as ads promoting illegal substances and activities for minors such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs and gambling.

But many representatives said Monday they worried about whether the ads would cause safety problems, distracting drivers around school buses.

"I don't think that we should ever sacrifice safety or the chance of safety for revenue or financial gain," said Rep. Don Ipson, R-St. George.

This is the second year Bird has run a bill seeking to allow ads on school buses, which some states already allow.

Lisa Schencker