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Seat belts in motor coach buses likely to be required soon

On Behalf of | Feb 11, 2013 | Car Accidents |

Folks in Fayetteville understand that wearing a seat belt while driving or riding in a vehicle may help to curb the possibility of injury or death when a car accident does occur. So why don’t vehicles that are used for mass transit provide passengers with seat belts?

Somewhere along the way, that question has crossed the minds of members of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In fact, the NHTSA has been questioning whether it should mandate motor coaches to come equipped with seat belts since 1977. And now, the agency is apparently ready to push for new laws that would require all new motor coaches to come equipped with seat belts for passengers within the next three years. The NHTSA believes this rule will make motor coaches an even safer mode of transportation for Americans.

Motor coach travel has proven to be one of the safest modes of transportation. Between 1999 and 2008, there were fewer than 55 motor coach traffic accidents. And only about 19 people per year die as a result of a motor coach accident. However, the NHTSA believes even fewer fatalities would occur by requiring seat belts to be installed in motor coach buses.

While the federal government may implement a policy requiring buses to have seat belts, it can’t force passengers to use seat belts on buses. However, individual states are able to pass laws requiring the use of seat belts, the same way states do with car seat belts. Considering that wearing lap-shoulder seat belts can significantly reduce a bus passenger’s chances of being seriously harmed or killed in a bus rollover accident, it’s conceivable that states will require the use of seat belts if they are installed in buses in the future.

If the safety belt rule is passed this year, installation of seat belts in new motor coaches would cost about $13,000 per bus. Many would argue that this would be money well spent, though, since the rule could save about eight lives every year.

Source: The Detroit News, “Feds finalizing new rules that include bus seat belts,” David Shepardson, Jan. 17, 2013

  • Our firm handles a wide variety of motor vehicle accident claims, including bus accident claims. To learn more about protecting your rights and obtaining compensation for your accident-related injuries that have been caused by a negligent bus driver, please visit our Fayetteville auto accidents attorney page.