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On March 2, 2007, an Atlanta bus accident occurred that killed seven people. Five years later during the same month, the Senate approved a bill that arose from this Atlanta tour bus crash.
Sadly, five members of an Ohio college baseball team were killed along with the bus driver and his wife. According to the accident report, the bus driver did not realize that the HOV ramp was the exit until it was too late to bring the bus to a stop. Because of this, the bus crashed through the barrier wall, went airborne, and fell to the roadway below.
Although the National Transportation Safety Board blamed the accident on bad signs and driver error, many people wanted to see better tour bus safety standards following the death of these seven people from the Bluffton University community.
A bill that would increase safety requirements for tour buses, motor coach companies and drivers recently passed the Senate in March 2012. After Sen. Sherrod Brown and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison introduced the measure, it became part of the transportation bill that passed the Senate Wednesday. The Senate is hoping to see an identical measure introduced and advanced in the House.
The bill would require stronger seating systems, seat belts, and anti-ejection glazing windows that would prevent occupants from being ejected from the bus. The bill would also aim to improve bus driver training. Most importantly, this bill will help save lives by enforcing tour bus safety standards.
Kalka & Baer would like to continue to wish the victims’ families comfort and strength following this fatal wreck, and we hope that this measure advances in the House to bring all occupants of motor coaches increased safety.