Government Will Require Seatbelts on Large Buses

New tour buses and buses that provide service between cities will be required to have seat belts starting in late 2016 under a federal rule issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on November 21. This safety measure was sought by accident investigators for nearly fifty years. Beginning in November 2016, all new motorcoaches and some other large buses must be equipped with three-point lap-shoulder belts. Unfortunately, the rule will not apply to school buses or city transit buses.

An average of 21 people in large buses are killed each year in crashes, and nearly 8,000 others are injured annually, according to NHTSA. It is estimated that seat belts could reduce fatalities and moderate-to-severe injuries by almost fifty percent. About half of all motorcoach fatalities are the result of rollovers, and about 70 percent of those killed in rollover accidents were ejected from the bus. David Strickland, head of NHTSA stated:

 Adding sea/belts to motorcoaches increases safety for all passengers and drivers, especially in the event of a roll-over crash.

According to the United Motorcoach Association, the nation’s fleet of 29,000 motorcoaches transports about 700 million passengers a year in the United States, roughly equivalent to the domestic airline industry.  Since buses are usually on the road for about 20 to 25 years, it will likely be many years before most motorcoaches have seat belts.

 

Source: Claims Journal

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