Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a proposal to require lap-shoulder safety belts in all new motorcoaches.
You may be surprised to learn that motorcoaches in America carry more than 750 million passengers every year. And even though riding in a motorcoach is a very safe way of traveling US roadways, DOT is committed to making that travel even safer.
As NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said, "We want motorcoaches to be as safe as possible, and we are working toward that goal."
And he isn't kidding. Today's announcement is only our latest initiative to improve motorcoach safety. Earlier this year, we released a Motorcoach Safety Action Plan offering concrete steps to address driver fatigue and inattention, and to improve operator maintenance. Research to improve structure, fire safety protection and emergency exits is also under way.
Look--we know that seat belts save lives. They help prevent driver and passenger ejections during a crash, and reduce the risk of passengers being killed in a rollover by an astounding 77%.
Putting them in motorcoaches just makes sense.
The proposed rule is open for public comment until October 18, 2010 on www.regulations.gov. This is your opportunity to weigh in, so--please--let us hear from you!