Don’t apply brakes to tour bus safety bill

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Don’t apply brakes to tour bus safety bill

Port Clinton News Herald – It was a call John Betts — like any parent — never wanted to receive.

His son David — an athlete, musician and pre-med student at Bluffton University — was killed in a 2007 tour bus crash that claimed seven lives. While a poorly designed exit ramp contributed to the bus crashing at full speed and flipping onto the interstate below, the tour bus the team was riding in was ill-equipped to withstand the impact of almost any crash.

Betts has been a courageous voice for tour bus safety. The Bluffton University bus crash rocked a small town but also brought national attention to long overdue safety improvements to America’s tour buses.

Along with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, I have worked for the past three years to pass the Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act. This commonsense, bipartisan legislation would protect tour bus passengers, drivers and other motorists on America’s highways.

The bill is based on recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board many years ago that have not been implemented. It would require strong, crush-resistant roofs that can withstand rollovers. Anti-ejection windows required under this bill would prevent passengers from being easily thrown outside the bus.

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