After high-profile charter bus crashes in recent years, the commercial carrier is taking a progressive step toward addressing federal highway safety priorities.
WESTFIELD, Ind. — IMMI, a manufacturer of vehicle safety systems, recently supplied Premier seats to GREYHOUND for 213 new motorcoaches built by Prevost and Motor Coach Industries (MCI).
With this order, 20% of the Greyhound fleet will be equipped with lap-shoulder belts by the end of the summer, bringing its parent company, FirstGroup, closer to its goal of equipping the entire fleet within the next five years.
While the federal government does not yet require seat belts in large buses, FirstGroup is equipping its Greyhound fleet with belted seats, working to address one of five federal highway safety priorities on the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements for 2010.
Passenger reaction to belted seating has been positive, said IMMI Vice President James Johnson. “Before the Premier seat was introduced, the technology did not exist to make lap-shoulder belts a viable option in the U.S. for use in motorcoaches,” Johnson said. “Greyhound has redefined the safety expectations of today’s motorcoach passengers by moving forward with this safety integration. Passengers are responding favorably.”
Johnson explained how experience in the school transportation market influenced Greyhound’s decision to work with IMMI. “IMMI was the first to bring lap-shoulder belts to market on school bus seats in 2002, and now SAFEGUARD bus seats are protecting more than 200,000 children in more than 40 states,” he said. “We achieved a lead position in the school bus seating market by offering SafeGuard SmartFrame technology and by certifying seat performance to NHTSA requirements in our crash test facility. We now bring these same advantages to the motorcoach industry.”
IMMI has a multi-year contract with FirstGroup as the exclusive seat supplier for all new motorcoaches in the Greyhound fleet. Premier made its debut on 140 new motorcoaches that joined the Greyhound fleet in the first quarter of 2009.
IMMI has been the industry leader in child and bus passenger protection for more than 30 years. Within the past decade, IMMI has introduced belted seating under its SafeGuard brand to the U.S. school bus and motorcoach industries. Using a modern crash-test facility, sophisticated engineering and advanced manufacturing operations, IMMI develops and supplies SafeGuard restraint systems and seating solutions for customers worldwide.