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More curbs needed on buses

The recent federal crackdown on unsafe motorcoach operators is good, but is it good enough? [“Curbside buses curbed,” editorial, June 5]. Customers deserve to be protected before boarding a bus and when taking a seat.

Senate-passed transportation legislation includes motorcoach safety reforms long recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board. These provisions, championed by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) and Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Ted Poe (R-Tex.), direct overdue federal action on safety standards such as seat belts, anti-ejection window glazing, crush-resistant roofs and rollover prevention.

The legislation also increases fines for motorcoach companies that ignore safety rules. Unfortunately, the motorcoach industry continues to oppose passage. The safety measures in the Senate bill now in conference with House members would add about 10 cents to a bus ride ticket.

In March 2006, my 16-year-old daughter, Ashley, was traveling with her soccer teammates to a playoff game when she was killed in a motorcoach crash after being ejected from the bus, a common cause of death and serious injury in motorcoach crashes. Six years later, there are still no federal requirements for occupant restraint. One dime is a small price to pay to save a life and spare a parent grief.

Brad Brown, Beaumont, Tex.

The writer is a co-founder of West Brook Bus Crash Families, a group formed after his daughter’s accident to advocate for motorcoach safety.

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