WASHINGTON (CN) – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to required lap/shoulder belts on commercial buses, citing several crashes in 2008 as the reason, although the agency first recommended belts in 1968.
It came to the attention of the agency that a bus rollover “can cause a significant number of fatal or serious injuries in a single event,” and that seatbelts may keep passengers from ejecting from the vehicle, according to the proposed rule.
A 2009 agency study shows that the belts would be effective, and that they could reduce the risk of fatal injuries in rollover crashes by 77 percent, according to the proposal.
Besides requiring seat belts, the agency’s priorities for commercial bus safety are, improved roof strength, emergency evacuation and fire safety, according to the proposed rule.
The agency also plans to require a lap/shoulder belt for drivers of large school buses. Currently manufacturers are allowed to put lap belts, alone, in large school buses.
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