SAFETY FIRST: Whether seat belts are required on motorcoaches or not, the charter and bus industry provides some of the safest transportation available when you compare the number of deaths with overall miles traveled.
But when there is an accident, many lives are the mercy of one driver, as THIS RECENT TRAGEDY SHOWS. Regardless of whether federal lawmakers end up mandating the seat belts per the Department of Transportation's recent recommendations, it should behoove motorcoach operators to equip their buses with seat belts, and for manufacturers to offer the strongest possible vehicle frames. The NTSB recently asked the New Jersey Motorcoach Association to VOLUNTARILY TAKE MEASURES to protect passengers. So the overriding question becomes: If Austrailia has required motorcoach seatbelts since 1994, and the EU since 1997, why not the U.S.? -- M.R.
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