Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Buses About to be Buckled Up


Seatbelts are some of the most important safety feature of a vehicle. During crashes, these safety belts are responsible for restraining one’s body, preventing it from hitting anything inside the vehicle, or getting thrown out of it. This very old technology for a lot of people doesn’t seem to make much sense. However, almost all the other passive safety systems like the airbag, the whiplash protecting headrests, among others will not work properly without the help of the seatbelt.

Absence in Motorcoaches
While seatbelts are available in taxis, the same could not be said when it comes to motorcoaches. According to the information compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are 21 motorcoach and large bus passengers that are killed, while 7,934 people gets injured every year because of motor vehicle crashes. The agency added that the absence of seatbelts on these public transport vehicles is one of the major reasons why such things happen.

Buckling up on Motorcoaches
According to US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, “Safety is our highest priority and we are committed to reducing the number of deaths and injuries on our roadways.” And so, the NHTSA has just issued a final rule regarding the use of lap and shoulder seat belts on motorcoaches. According to this rule, a lap and shoulder seat belts should be made available for each of the passenger and the driver of large buses and motorcoaches. This new rule aims to prevent fatalities and serious injuries among passenger in frontal crashes, or the risk of occupant ejection in cases of rollovers by enhancing the safety of these vehicles. According to studies, seat belt use can reduce fatalities by up to 44 percent an can lessen the number of moderate to severe injuries by up to 45 percent.

This new amendment to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 will be applied to new, over-the-road buses as well as new, buses that have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) higher than 11,793 kilograms. Exempted are transit buses and school buses. This new rule is in accordance to the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” (MAP-21). So buses that will be manufactured beginning November 2016 will be required to equip the driver and all passenger seats with lap and shoulder belts.

Private Sector’s Initiative
With the announcement of such rules, some companies have voluntarily purchased buses that have seat belts; a move that a Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles is lauding. The Transportation Department continues to encourage the industry to adhere to this new ruling before the mandatory deadline comes. This new ruling, the agency said, is just one of the many initiatives that they will be pushing for to help boost safety on motorcoaches. They said that the people can expert more initiatives as the agency continues to implement the Motorcoach Safety Action Plan.


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