By Cleve Bryan

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DEPTFORD, N.J. (CBS) — Safety advocates in New Jersey hope a bill signed over the weekend will make school buses safer in the long run.

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With a survivor from May’s deadly Paramus school bus crash at his side, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation this past weekend requiring shoulder strap seat belts on buses.

“All school buses manufactured starting 180 days from now must be equipped with three-point safety belts for all occupants,” said Murphy.

The law does not require school districts or private bus companies retro-fit buses with shoulder straps, and due to the costs, few districts will add them voluntarily, but bus safety experts say don’t despair.

“The school bus seats are designed in such a way as to compartmentalize the children,” said Jim Raphaely, the chief risk officer at the McGough Bus Company in Deptford.

The bus company services about a dozen school districts. Raphaely says lap belts, which are required by law, in combination with padding on the front and back of seats that are purposefully spaced only 22 inches apart, offer a high degree of protection in case of an accident.

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“So, it really provided a cocoon of safety in the event there is a frontal or rear collision and possibly a side collision,” he said.

Perhaps the most recent safety equipment upgrade you will see this school year is a new Abigail Camera Sensor System.

“In conjunction with the stop arm, which is this piece here, it allows the driver to actually physically see a very dangerous zone in school bus safety and that’s crossing in front of the bus,” said Raphaely.

Named for a 2-year-old run over by a bus in 2003, New Jersey started requiring Abigail Systems in new buses last year.

The new Abigail Systems allow bus drivers to see what’s happening in front and behind school buses, but whether we’re talking about camera systems or seat belts, a lot of these new safety measures start with bus driver training.

“The best accident is the one that never happens and we also take our resources and we have a drivers training meeting. For our particular company, we have them weekly,” said Raphaely.

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School officials encourage parents to review seat belt safety with their children, especially during the first week of school.