Senators renew bus safety calls after holiday crashes

The Hill

A bipartisan pair of senators renewed their calls for increasing bus safety after two more deadly accidents claimed lives.

Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) said Tuesday that accidents in northern Virginia and Washington state should provide Congress the impetus it needs to pass their "Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act." The bill, first introduced after a 2007 accident involved a college baseball team from Brown's home state of Ohio, would require seatbelts for bus passengers and stronger roofs and windows.

“This weekend’s crashes are an urgent and painful reminder that safety improvements for tour bus operations are long overdue,” Brown said in a statement Tuesday. “This tour bus safety bill employs common-sense measures that can easily be adopted to save lives. Its passage by the Senate is long overdue and critical to ensure that future bus trips don’t turn into tragedies.”

Hutchison agreed.

"The deadly bus crashes over the holiday weekend are another tragic example of why safety improvements to bus travel are urgently needed," she said in a statement. "Basic safety measures such as passenger seat belts may have helped prevent some of the deaths and injuries in these recent crashes. 
While seatbelts have been required in automobiles for decades, bus passengers are not afforded the same simple safety device. 

"This is unacceptable," she continued. "With the summer travel season upon us, it is critical for the Senate to pass Sen. Brown and my legislation without any further delay.”

Hutchison and Brown's bill was recently approved by Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

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Senators renew bus safety calls after holiday crashes »