Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA) today applauded the release of a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report on the May 31, 2011 bus accident that resulted in the death of four passengers in Caroline County, VA. The report includes several of the recommendations specifically addressed by motorcoach safety legislation co-sponsored by Senator Warner, Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), and others that was included in the recently passed transportation funding bill.
In its report, NTSB recommends stronger safety standards for motorcoaches, including mandatory safety belts, roof strength requirements in case of rollovers, improved window glazing requirements to avoid passenger ejection, and updated flammability standards. In June 2012, the Senate passed comprehensive surface transportation legislation that included the Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act, which Senator Warner co-sponsored. That legislation, signed into law on July 6, 2012, directs the Department of Transportation to implement the enhanced safety standards mentioned above. The legislation also provides the Department of Transportation with increased authority to track down and regulate rogue carriers and those with multiple safety violations that continue to operate.
"In the thirteen months since the Virginia accident, the Department of Transportation has taken aggressive actions to shut down many of the bad actors in this business, but we need to do even more," Senator Warner said. "The traveling public deserves low-cost travel options without having to sacrifice safety. I am pleased to see that today's NTSB recommendations echo the new tools our legislation provided to reign in the rogue carriers who have abysmal safety records."