In an address to the New Jersey Motorcoach Association today, NTSB Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker called on the motorcoach industry to voluntarily move toward fleets equipped with lap/shoulder belts, according to a recent NTSB press release.
Rosenker said that while a systematic and multi-dimensional
approach to occupant safety is the best way to keep
motorcoach operations as safe as possible, since such a
system has not been required of new motorcoaches by the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, industry
leaders should move ahead and voluntarily add restraint
systems that are currently available on newly manufactured
“In your next motorcoach purchase you can do something that
Australia has required since 1994,” said Rosenker. “It’s
something that the European Union has required since 1997.
It’s something the state of Texas will require on all
motorcoaches chartered for school trips beginning in 2011.
It’s something that Greyhound recently announced will be on
its newest fleet of motorcoaches, and its something many of
your competitors will soon have â€” lap/shoulder belts.”
Making the case that lap/shoulder belts don’t just enhance
safety but also make good business sense, Rosenker said that
they could provide a competitive advantage as passengers
become as savvy about the safety advantages of occupant
restraint systems on motorcoaches as they have about similar
systems in automobiles.“Do you think that you could
possibly sell a minivan in this country without a five star
crash rating?” asked Rosenker.
On those occasions when a motorcoach accident does occur,
Rosenker called on the executives to view it as an
opportunity to find ways to improve the safety of their
fleets to bring them “closer to an accident-free
environment.” He also emphasized how public confidence in
the safety of the motorcoach industry is a key to its
The complete text of the speech is available athttp://www.ntsb.gov/speeches/rosenker/mvr090603.html