Crashes Confront Charter And Tour Industry With Safety Challenges

Posted on November 25, 2009 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Last week's deadly crash of a tour bus on a southern Minnesota interstate came just days after the federal government proposed new safety regulations for motor coaches.

Federal transportation officials say tougher rules — requiring seat belts, reinforced roofs and data recorders — would help prevent injuries and deaths. An average of 19 people are killed each year in motorcoach crashes in the United States.

But two local charter bus companies say they already follow strict standards for vehicle maintenance and driver screening, and coaches are one of the safest modes of travel.

"Unfortunately, when there's an accident, it's always bad," said Tim Schubert, general manager of Trobec's Bus Service, a 70-year-old St. Stephen company.

"However, if you look at the statistics from throughout the country ... the number of people killed in motor coaches is very low."

Two people were killed and 21 injured Wednesday when a tour bus swerved off the clear, dry interstate and rolled into a ditch. The bus was carrying mostly senior citizens on their way home from a day trip to an Iowa casino.

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Source: St. Cloud (Minn.) Times

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