According to the National Highway Safety Administration, the agency is seeking to finalize some important regulations by the end of this year, including a requirement for seat belts on commercial buses. The original proposal for seatbelts on commercial buses has been long-delayed and met substantial resistance.
While some issues must be resolved, the industry has been assured that the current fleet of almost 30,000 commercial buses will not be required to be retrofitted with seatbelts. New buses, however, will be required to have the safety devices.
Some high-profile bus accidents, including some involving students, have put the issue of seatbelts in commercial buses in the spotlight. Even without safety restraints, traveling by bus is one of the safest methods of travel in the United States.
Rollover accidents are particularly dangerous when there are no seatbelts available or worn. Hopefully, the regulations will be finalized soon.
According to the agency, approximately 19 people die annually in bus accidents, and a good percentage could have been saved with seatbelt use. Wearing a seatbelt reduces the fatality risk by 3/4 in a rollover scenario.
Despite the resistance from the bus industry, the regulations will provide an extra level of safety for those who utilize the commercial bus system for travel.