Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood yesterday ordered a departmental review of commercial bus safety, a response to a string of fatal bus accidents across the country and criticism that the federal government has failed to act.
LaHood's review is scheduled to be completed by August. The announcement comes a week after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the Transportation Department, was slammed by the National Transportation Safety Board for failing to implement recommendations that could lead to new safety equipment on buses, including seatbelts and stronger roofs and windows. The safety board has been prodding NHTSA to enact its suggestions since 1999.
The criticism followed a safety board hearing concerning a bus crash near Mexican Hat, Utah, in January 2008 that killed nine people and injured 43. The safety board criticized NHTSA and other transportation agencies for moving too slowly.
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