Girardi | Keese

Safety rules in question after California accident

A recent motor vehicle accident in California has federal transportation authorities taking a closer look at ways to minimize injuries and fatalities in the event of a bus accident

Recently, 10 people were killed when a FedEx truck collided with a tour bus full of high school students. The incident occurred when the truck crashed into the bus on Interstate 5 in Orland. As a result, the bus quickly caught on fire. In addition to the fatalities, many students were injured before escaping through a window.

A member of the National Transportation Safety Board said, "The worst thing for the NTSB is to show up, know that we've issued recommendations from a previous accident where lives have been lost and find out (that) if those recommendations had been closed and enacted, lives could have been saved."

This truck accident has raised many questions, and once again has the authorities looking into new rules that could save lives in the future. For instance, the National Transportation Safety Board has long been fighting for regulations associated with seat belts and emergency exits. Despite the fact that federal agencies are often times slow to make changes, this incident goes a long way in showing that the implementation of new rules could make sense.

It took nearly 50 years for a law to be passed requiring three-point lap-shoulder belts in all large buses and motor coaches. This law goes into effect in November 2016.

An accident of this magnitude may push authorities into once again considering how to better protect passengers traveling in large buses. As a result, more people will be protected in the event of an accident. No changes can completely put an end to personal injury, but many agree that the time has come to consider alternatives.

Source: AM 760 KFMB, "Feds revisit safety rules after Calif. bus crash" Fenit Nirappil, Apr. 14, 2014

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