The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is about to put an end to a debate that has gone on since 1977 – whether or not motor coaches (i.e. commercial buses) ought to have seat belts on them.
As anyone who has ever been a passenger on a bus knows, buses have never had seat belts. But according to the NHTSA, as David Shepardson reports for the Detroit News, wearing a seat belt on a bus in the event of a rollover crash could reduce your risk of getting killed by 77 percent.
The 29,000 motor coaches currently on the nation’s highways wouldn’t be required to retrofit their rigs with seat belts; doing so would be cost-prohibitive for small bus companies. However, the NHTSA could very well propose such a rule down the road, depending on how the initial rule impacts the bus industry.
In 2012, according to Shepardson, Congress directed the NHTSA to issue a seat-belt rule as part of related law working its way through the legislature at the time, and the NHTSA administrator said that it would be issued “very soon.”
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Source: Feds finalizing new rules that include bus seat belts