Sen. Brown keeps foot on gas for bus safety bill; Bryan's John Betts make another plea at nation's capital

Defiance Crescent News

Four years after his son's death, John Betts hasn't lost his resolve to help change the nation's bus safety laws.

His son, David, and Zachary Arend of Oakwood were among seven people killed in the 2007 bus accident in Atlanta, Ga.

"As I become more frustrated and angry, I become more energetic," the Bryan man said Thursday. "This is something that's common sense and it has to happen."

Betts and his wife, Joy, traveled to the nation's capital three weeks

ago to continue his quest to plead for the passage of the Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act, co-sponsored by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas). It marked his sixth trip to Washington to advocate for the legislation.

"Mr. Betts has been a courageous voice for tour bus safety," said Brown. "He is a vibrant example of how grief can be transformed into advocacy. While it's natural to turn grief inward, John Betts is fighting to change this problem. Like him, I'm not willing to sit by while lives are at risk."

The bill is based on recommendations made several years ago by the National Transportation Safety Board that have not yet been implemented. It would require strong, crush resistant roofs that can withstand rollovers and anti-ejection windows to prevent passengers from easily being thrown outside the bus. The bill also addresses motorcoach driver training and three-point safety restraints in all new buses.

"This common sense, bipartisan legislation would protect tour bus passengers, drivers and other motorists on America's highways," said Brown.

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Sen. Brown keeps foot on gas for bus safety bill; Bryan's John Betts make another plea at nation's capital »