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New Bus Regulation to Require Structural Improvements, More “Survival” Space

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By the end of 2014, all new large passenger vehicles – including buses and motorcoaches – may be required to have some specific design features that would improve the protections for passengers in the event of rollovers or other serious traffic accidents.


In an effort to improve protections for bus passengers in the event of rollovers, NHTSA officials are proposing a new bus regulation for structural improvements.

In fact, on July 30, officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that they are pushing for this new bus regulation that would, once in effect, require the following:

  • More “survival” space for passengers, which specifically includes more space for and around each seat
  • Sturdier fixtures, including seat components, window features and luggage racks, which would all be required to stay in place and not come loose in the event of a rollover or other motor vehicle accident
  • Stricter standards for emergency exits, as these exits would have to pass crash testing to verify that they would remain shut during a crash but could still be opened after an accident.

If this bus regulation does end up being enacted before the end or 2014, then all currently operating buses and motorcoaches (in other words, larger passenger vehicles that have not been manufactured according to the new standards) would have to be retrofitted to meet the aforementioned safety standards by 2017.

Support for New Bus Regulation Comes from Many Regulators & Officials

As part of the announcement of the NHTSA’s efforts to improve the protections for bus and motorcoach passengers, many officials came forward to specifically express their support of this new bus regulation.

One of the most powerful statements was provided by Anne Ferro, an administrator with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is responsible for (among other things) enacting and overseeing various federal trucking regulations.

As Ferro stated:

Approximately 700 million trips are taken on commercial buses each year. Raising the standard for a motorcoach’s durability, in the event of a crash, is critical to saving the lives of the passengers inside… in addition to taking critical steps to improve the structural design of buses, we are committed to further increasing motorcoach safety through stricter oversight, in-depth investigations into high-risk companies, and by ensuring that drivers are properly licensed and medically fit for the job.

What Happens Next: The Public Comment Period

With the NHTSA’s intentions regarding this new bus regulation now clear, the public has the opportunity to express opinions about this proposed regulation. The public comment period will reportedly extend through September.

Denver Truck Accident Attorneys at the Warshauer-McLaughlin Law Group, P.C.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a bus or truck accident? If so, the Denver truck accident lawyers at the Warshauer-McLaughlin Law Group, P.C. are ready to meet with you. We are here to aggressively stand up for truck accident victims’ rights to compensation and help them hold negligent and reckless parties responsible for injuring them.

With more than 35 years of combined legal experience, our Denver truck accident attorneys have a proven record of success and dedication when it comes to helping accident victims get the highest possible settlements for their injuries and losses.

Contact Us – We Are Ready to Fight For You

We encourage you to learn more about your rights and get a thorough, professional evaluation of your case by meeting with us for a free, no obligations initial consult.

To set up this meeting today, call us at (720) 606-6887 or email us using the form on this page.


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