Official Proposes New Safety Measures For Tour Buses

WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was proposing tougher penalties for rogue tour bus operators and policy changes to make it easier to put them out of business.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond: Tour Buses Carry Over 700 Million Passengers A Year

The proposals were among a number of steps aimed at improving tour bus safety announced by LaHood on Thursday.

The move follows a spate of tour bus accidents in the Tri-State region, including the devastating March 12 crash which killed more than a dozen people returning from a Connecticut casino.

Another proposal would require companies to pass a safety audit before receiving federal operating authority. The audit would include an interview of the company’s owners and a safety examination of the company’s drivers and vehicles.

Drivers also could lose their commercial licenses if they violate drug and alcohol laws while operating a vehicle other than a bus.

LaHood’s announcement does not include requirements for seat belts and reinforced roofs and windows that safety experts say would make most bus accidents survivable.

Do you agree with these proposals? Let us know below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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  • William Daniels

    The best safety regulation is an enforceable requirement that all bus operators maintain sufficient insurance against death and serious injury. The old $1million policy standard is no longer adequate in a modern economy and accident victims should be protected. Plus, insurance companies are a first line of safety defense, since they have an economic incentive to enforce minimum operating standards in order to avoid claims.

    If we truly want safer transportation for our seniors and children (the primary users of these buses), then let’s hold operators responsible for the damage they cause. Government can’t do the job and we don’t want to pay for larger bureaucracies anyways. Let the private sector operate in a free market. I’ll trust a for profit insurance carrier to enforce standards over government any day, they don’t want to pay claims after all.

  • Gregory

    By allowing the bus companies to hire “low cost” drivers and NOT provide safety equipment such as seat belts, reinforced roof and sides and safety windows only a marginal benefit is obtained. This kowtowing to the company owners is what I would expect from a Republican administration not a Democrat one with a Marxist approach to regulation. I’ll bet that there are some might big political contributions / favors behind this decision. Oh well! The more things change …..!

  • John

    They should have a live video camera watching the bus driver and traffic while driving. They should also have some kind of device can wake up the bus driver just in case they fall a asleep.

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