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
List of Motorcoach Crashes Since 1990
Summary of Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act of 2011 Provisions and Supporting NTSB Recommendations
Fact Sheet on Safety Features Already Offered by Manufacturers
Fact Sheet on Cost of Motorcoach Safety Features
Advocates' Testimony before Congress on Motorcoach Safety:
Testimony by Jackie Gillan before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, hearing on "How Best to Improve Bus Safety on Our Nation's Highways"
Advocates' Press Releases about Motorcoach Safety:
Advocates' Regulatory Comments about Motorcoach Safety
Please click here for the full list of comments since 2010.