Seat belts on commercial buses delayed 45 years

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — After a drunken driver in California slammed into a bus carrying passengers to Las Vegas, killing 19 people, investigators said a lack of seat belts contributed to the high death toll. But 45 years later, safety advocates are still waiting for the government to act on seat belts and other measures to protect bus passengers.

The National Transportation Safety Board has repeated its call for seat belts or other means to protect passengers during crashes involving large buses used for tours, charters and intercity passenger service. About half of all motorcoach fatalities occur in rollover crashes, especially when passengers are ejected from the bus.

In 2009, then-Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood promised to require seat belts on commercial buses. Regulations were due in September under a law passed last year by Congress, but those are still under White House review.