Thousands of New Yorkers choose to travel by passenger bus every year. And while it may be true that large buses can be very comfortable and convenient, the fact remains that buses are involved in serious accidents every year. Following the news of a major bus collision that resulted in numerous personal injuries and fatalities, one federal agency is renewing its call for improved bus safety guidelines.
Ever since one particular bus accident occurred in 1997, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has promoted a number of safety measures to be implemented on buses around the country. Those safety guidelines are gaining attention once again as the NTSB responds to a recent multi-fatality incident involving a tour bus and FedEx truck in Northern California.
The tragic incident occurred when the FedEx truck reportedly struck the tour bus carrying 44 high school students. Both vehicles caught fire and resulted in 10 deaths, in addition to numerous injuries. It may take up to six months for state authorities to determine the cause of the accident and a month alone for the NTSB to complete its preliminary report. For now, the federal agency is working once again to have its safety recommendations addressing these kinds of car accidents recognized.
One of the measures the NTSB is promoting was prompted by another multi-fatality incident and involves installing fire-suppression devices on buses. While the devices would not likely extinguish large blazes, they might aid in evacuation efforts. Beyond that, the NTSB would like to see three-point safety belts be installed in all new large buses. Agency officials concede, though, that enforcing seatbelt policies on buses is difficult.
Current seatbelt guidelines are voluntary and it is noted that the bus involved in the recent incident was equipped with seatbelts.
Source: Yahoo! News, “Feds revisit safety rules after Calif. bus crash,” Fenit Nirappil, April 14, 2014