Motorcoach Safety

Transportation by intercity motorcoach is the fastest growing mode of passenger transportation. Each year, over 750 million passenger trips are taken on motorcoaches. Legislation directing action by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to improve the crashworthiness and operations safety of motorcoaches was recently passed by the House and Senate as part of the surface transportation reauthorization bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), Public Law 112-141. 

Newly enacted motorcoach safety provisions include:

  • Directs DOT to prescribe regulations to require seatbelts on  motorcoaches within one year, as well as regulations for roof strength, anti-ejection safety countermeasures and rollover crash avoidance within two years
  • Allows DOT to assess feasibility, including benefits and cost, of retrofitting seat belts and anti-ejection glazing on motorcoaches built before the issuance of final rules
  • DOT is required to conduct research and testing on fire prevention and mitigation issues
  • Improved oversight of motorcoach service providers, including DOT assignment of fitness ratings to new motorcoach service providers within two years and all other motorcoach service providers within three years
  • DOT shall issue a rule within one year to improve public accessibility to motorcoach safety fitness rating information in bus terminals, in motorcoaches, and at points of sale
  • Requirement of electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) operated in interstate commerce by drivers subject to hours of service regulations 
Stephen Forman stands with Brad Brown at the Advocates’ press conference on May 31st, 2012. Stephen’s daughter, Allison, was seriously injured when a motorcoach carrying the West Brook girls’ varsity soccer team crashed on March 29, 2006, as they traveled to a playoff game. Brad’s daughter, Ashley, was killed in the crash along with fellow teammate Alicia.
Click here for Stephen Forman’s press statement.
 
 
Dr. Jeffrey Salomone, Professor of Surgery at Emory University and Trauma Surgeon at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, speaks at Advocates' press conference on May 31st, 2012. Dr. Salomone treated the victims of the Bluffton University baseball team crash on March 2,2007. The team was traveling on a motorcoach when it crashed through an overpass bridge wall and fell onto the Interstate below, landing on its side and killing seven passengers. Dr. Salomone believes that if seatbelts were installed in the motorcoach, there would have been no passengers killed.
 
John Betts, whose son was killed in the 2007 Bluffton University baseball team motorcoach crash, speaks to a crowd outside the Capitol about the importance of passing the Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act at a press conference announcing Greyhound's support of the legislation in July 2011. John is pictured with his wife, Joy Betts, and David Leach, CEO of Greyhound, Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Jackie Gillan, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and Yen-Chi Le, whose mother was killed in the 2008 Sherman, Texas bus crash.

 

Motorcoach Safety Resources:

List of Motorcoach Crashes Since 1990

Summary of Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act of 2011 Provisions and Supporting NTSB Recommendations

Fact Sheet on Motorcoach Safety

Fact Sheet on Safety Features Already Offered by Manufacturers

Fact Sheet on Cost of Motorcoach Safety Features

 

Advocates' Testimony before Congress on Motorcoach Safety:

June 13, 2011
Testimony by Jackie Gillan before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, hearing on "How Best to Improve Bus Safety on Our Nation's Highways"
Please click here for the full testimony.
 
March 30, 2011
Testimony by Joan Claybrook before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, hearing on "Ensuring the Safety of Our Nation's Motorcoach Passengers.
Please click here for the full testimony.

Advocates' Press Releases about Motorcoach Safety:

July 14, 2011
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety Commends Greyhound for Support of Bus Safety Bill
Please click here for the press release.
 
March 2, 2011
Fourth Anniversary of Motorcoach Crash that Killed and Injured Bluffton University Baseball Team Members Marks Introduction of Legislation to Correct Dangerous and Unaddressed Safety Problems
Please click here for the press release.
 

Advocates' Regulatory Comments about Motorcoach Safety

Please click here for the full list of comments since 2010.

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