Feds to Mandate Seatbelts on All Buses
The worst bus accident in Atlanta in recent memory occurred three years ago, when a bus carrying a baseball team from Bluffton University plunged off a highway overpass, killing seven people including five baseball players.Some of those who were killed or injured were ejected from the vehicle, as the bus swung around sharply before it flipped over.Would those statistics have been different if the students were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident?It is quite likely, and if a US Department of Transportation proposal to mandate seatbelts on all motor coaches is successful, we might be able to dramatically reduce the number of people seriously injured or killed in bus accidents in the future.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced that his agency is considering long-pending proposals by the National Transportation Safety Board, to mandate seatbelts on all motor coaches.The NTSB made the recommendations back in 1968, but any attempts at federal and state legislation to mandate seatbelts on all motor coaches have been thwarted by the powerful bus manufacturer lobby.The industry has managed to get away with putting thousands of vehicles sans seatbelts out there, and the impact has been seen in a series of deadly bus accidents, from California to Texas.
According to federal data, approximately two-thirds of bus accidents between 1997 and 2008 involved a single vehicle rolling over.Seventy-five percent of the passenger fatalities in these rollovers involved people ejected from the bus.Passengers are at a much higher risk of ejection from a bus when they are not restrained.It shouldn’t take super smarts to figure that out, but it has taken federal agencies more than four decades to seriously consider the issue of seatbelts in buses.It’s about time that we mandated personal restraint systems in buses that transport thousands of Atlantans every day.
The Atlanta personal injury lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent injured victims of auto/truck/bus accidents in the metro Atlanta region, and across Georgia.