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How the DOT Is Improving Bus Passenger Safety

Many people purchase tickets to ride the bus as a way of commuting to and from work around Sarasota or as a way of traveling between Florida and New York. While busses help people save money at the pump, they often put passengers at risk. This is because large busses, tour busses, and motorcoaches often roll over and cause serious injuries—even fatalities—for passengers onboard the bus.

In light of this, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed new regulations to help keep bus passengers better protected in rollover crashes. “The consequences for passengers in rollover crashes are severe. I want passengers to know that when this Department sees opportunities to make their travel safer so that they can more confidently visit their families or get to work, we are going to do just that and we believe this proposal is a step in that direction,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

How Is Bus Travel Going to Be Safer for Passengers?

The proposal is looking to better protect bus passengers through improving the structural design of large buses. This would include:

  • Making sure the space around passengers would remain intact and that passengers would have a survivable space in the event of a wreck.
  • Ensuring the emergency exits would close during a rollover crash but would be operable after the accident.
  • Making sure the luggage racks, window glazing, and seats would remain attached to their mounts during a rollover.

These new federal motor vehicle safety standards would be requirements that new large buses would have to meet. Additionally, the DOT is also considering making stability control technologies a requirement in buses to help prevent rollovers and improve bus passenger safety even further. In addition to these steps, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is also doing its part to increase bus passenger safety by investigating high-risk companies, increasing stricter oversight, and shutting down bad bus companies that put passengers at risk.

What Can I Do Now?

Because these new regulations will only apply to new busses, it is important that bus passengers take a look at the Look Before You Book website to learn about bus safety and make sure they are as safe as possible before boarding a motorcoach.

Because we want you and everyone you know to stay safe while traveling by bus, we encourage you to share this information on Facebook so others you know are aware of their bus passenger safety rights.