Brown Testified Before Senate Commerce Committee, on Which Hutchison Serves as Ranking Member
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee today unanimously approved legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) that would overhaul tour bus safety regulations and reduce deaths and serious injuries caused by accidents.
“Simply put, this bill will save lives,” Brown said. “These safety measures are common-sense safety features that have been–and are–widely used. By equipping buses with seatbelts, stronger roofs, and safer windows, we can prevent deaths and minimize injuries. With bus ridership increasing, it’s more important than ever to pass this legislation. We need to ensure bus trips don’t turn into tragedies.”
Brown and Hutchison’s Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act would reduce the number of motorcoach crashes and related fatalities. Brown and Hutchison first introduced the legislation following a 2007 crash of a tour bus carrying 33 Bluffton University baseball players that claimed seven lives.
In March 2011, Brown testified before the Senate Commerce Committee at a hearing entitled: ‘Ensuring the Safety of Our Nation's Motorcoach Passengers.” Brown was joined at the hearing by John and Joy Betts, who lost their son David in the Bluffton University crash.
Brown and Hutchison have introduced the Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act in the previous two Congresses. U.S. Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) has introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. Last congress, the bill unanimously passed out of committee with broad bipartisan support but was held up on the floor by a single senator, never receiving a full Senate vote.
The Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act is based on National Transportation Safety Board recommendations—some of which were first proposed in 1968. The bill would require: