NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
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NTSB ACTING CHAIRMAN TELLS CONGRESS THAT MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE ON MOTORCOACH SAFETY

September 18, 2008

Washington, D.C. - National Transportation Safety Board Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker today told a Senate subcommittee that, “although motorcoach travel is one of the safest modes of transportation, there are still many improvements that can be made to make it even safer.”

Testifying before the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security, the chairman highlighted the need for improvements in motorcoach occupant protection systems, in strengthened government oversight of motorcoach operators, and in more rapid deployment of advanced motorcoach safety technologies.

For decades the Board has been concerned with a range of motorcoach safety issues as a result of numerous Board investigations. While most highway accidents are investigated at the state and local level, intercity motorcoach accidents typically involve a substantial number of people traveling in a single vehicle, so these kinds of crash investigations are frequently brought to the Board.

“These passengers are often students or elderly persons who rely on motorcoach travel and have placed their safety in the hands of a professional motorcoach operator,” said Acting Chairman Rosenker. “That factor demands that motorcoaches meet the highest level of safety.”

The issue of Motorcoach Passenger Safety is on the Board’s Most Wanted List of Safety Improvements because of the critical importance of this issue and the lack of substantive progress on the Board’s recommendations. Some of the Board’s earliest recommendations, related to occupant protection features, date back to the Board’s origin in 1967, while the newest recommendations involve the development of performance standards for new technologies, such as adaptive cruise control and collision warning systems.

The full text of the Acting Chairman’s written testimony can be found on the NTSB’s website under Speeches and Testimony.

NTSB Media Contact:
Bridget Serchak
(202)314-6100
Bridget.serchak@ntsb.gov

 

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.