CVSA 'Bus Safety Summit' Seeks to Advance Motorcoach Safety

A tour bus driver struggling with a door runs off the road, overturning the vehicle, killing seven tourists in Nevada. A bus traveling from New York to Montreal crashes through a guardrail, rolls down an embankment, killing five, including the bus driver. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance says that these types of high-profile bus crashes have prompted government leaders and the industry to take a hard look at what might be done to enhance bus and motorcoach safety. Deciding that one proactive approach would be to share best practices and successes, as well as to discuss proactive measures for preventing avoidable crashes and unnecessary deaths, the alliance has planned a Bus Safety Summit. The event will be held March 5-6 at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City, Va.

"While interstate bus travel continues to be one of the safest forms of public transportation, it is true it only takes one unspeakable crash to bring intense scrutiny to the entire industry," said CVSA Executive Director Stephen F. Campbell. "We recently had thousands of charter buses come to Washington, D.C., from all over North America for President Obama's inauguration without incident. We need to share and build upon these lessons-learned as well."

During the two-day event, speakers from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), insurers, operators, manufacturers, health professionals, and brokers will provide participants with updates on relevant programs, projects, crash investigations, regulatory, legislative, research and policy activities, as well as best practices for both industry and government regarding passenger carrier safety, CVSA said. In addition, the summit will provide breakout sessions for participants designed to identify problems and to promote discussion of relevant issues and best practices. A plenary session will include a collaborative working activity for all attendees, allowing them to work together in an effort to answer key questions and help to identify next steps necessary needed to advance bus and motorcoach safety.

"Representative Bill Shuster (R-PA) is working on a new bus safety bill that will very likely include key principles of bills that were introduced in last year's Congress," said Richard Henderson, CVSA's legislative director. "There is a possibility that this new bill could be introduced on or around the time of our Bus Safety Summit."

According to CVSA, the principal objective of the summit is to bring together a diverse group of government and industry professionals in the bus and motorcoach industries to share knowledge and information and to help provide up-to-date information and solutions for enhancing passenger carrier transportation, as well as to address the challenges that exist in the industry. For more information on the event, go to www.cvsa.org.

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