Following Deadly Bus Crash, Brown Renews Call for Motorcoach Safety Legislation

Following 2007 Bluffton University Motorcoach Crash that Resulted in Seven Fatalities, Brown Authored Bill to Strengthen Bus Safety, Improve Driver Training

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following reports of bus crash that killed a University of Mount Union faculty member and injured four wrestling team students at the same university, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today renewed his call for Congress to pass legislation that would strengthen bus safety and improve driver training to reduce the number of motorcoach crashes and related fatalities.

“The news of last night’s fatal bus accident in Bucyrus seemed all too familiar. Less than four years ago, seven lives were cut short after a motorcoach carrying Bluffton University baseball players crashed in Atlanta,” Brown said. “That’s why I introduced legislation to overhaul motorcoach safety regulations, with the aim of dramatically reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by these accidents. Sadly, this common-sense measure has been blocked in the Senate. I won’t give up this fight until we can pass legislation to help prevent bus-related fatalities and injuries. I plan to reintroduce the Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act this Congress, as I have the previous two Congresses. We need to prevent any future bus trips from turning into tragedies.”

Brown’s Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act would require:

  • Safety belts and stronger seating systems to ensure occupants stay in their seats in a crash.
  • Improved commercial driver training. Currently, no training is required by federal regulation.
  • Anti-ejection glazing windows to prevent passengers from being easily thrown outside the motorcoach.
  • Strong, crush-resistant roofs that can withstand rollovers.
  • Improved protection against fires by reducing flammability of the motorcoach interior, and better training for operators in the case of fire. 
  • A National Commercial Motor Vehicle Medical Registry to ensure that only medically qualified examiners conduct physical examinations of drivers and a medical certificate process to ensure that all certificates are valid and no unqualified operator is allowed to drive.
  • Strengthened motorcoach vehicle safety inspections including roadside inspections, safety audits, and state and motor carrier programs for identifying vehicle defects.
  • Electronic On-Board Recorders (EOBRs) with real-time capabilities to track precise vehicle location that cannot be tampered with by the driver. 

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