Motorcoach Safety Proposal: Obama Proposes Seat Belt Rule on Commercial Buses
08/17/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley
Washington, D.C.—On Monday, August 16, 2010, the Obama administration proposed a seat belt rule that would require commercial buses, such as school buses, to be equipped with seat belts, as reported by the Dallas Morning News.
The announcement marks two years since the deadly bus crash in Sherman, Texas, which left 17 people dead along U.S. Highway 75. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood stated, “Seat belts save lives, and putting them in motorcoaches just makes sense.” Federal investigators determined that the lack of seat belts was a big factor in making the Sherman accident so deadly.
The proposed seat belt rule is still up to public comment and revision, but the rule could become final as early as this winter, taking effect three years after that point.
The federal requirement would end a decades-long battle by safety advocates and crash survivors who have been pushed to implement seat belts in commercial buses.
The government cited that a study of crashes since 1999 revealed that nearly two-thirds of the accidents occurred when a single bus ran off the road and subsequently overturned; and nearly 75 percent of deaths were because of rollovers where passengers were ejected.
The Motorcoach Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 is currently pending in Congress, which would require bus manufacturer to implement additional safety precautions.