Friday, November 22, 2013

NHTSA to Require Seat Belts on Motorcoaches

Every year, an average of 21 passengers of motorcoaches and other large buses are killed in vehicle crashes, and another 7,934 passengers are injured in such incidents.

In an effort to reduce these injuries and fatalities, the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a final rule requiring lap and shoulder seat belts for all driver and passenger seats on new motorcoaches and other large buses. NHTSA estimates that requiring seat belts could reduce fatalities by as much as 44%, especially during frontal crashes and rollover incidents in which there is a significant risk of occupant ejection.

Beginning in November 2016, all newly manufactured buses exceeding 26,000 lb. (11,793 kg.) will be required to have lap and shoulder belts for every seat. The rule amends Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 and can be found here.