FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 5, 2018
Contact: Eric Naing 202-408-1711, cell: 217-493-8294, firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement of Cathy Chase,
President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety,
On Recent School Bus and Bus Stop Crashes
Wave of Deadly Crashes Underscores Urgent Need for Improved School Bus Safety Protections
The recent crashes in Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina and Pennsylvania that killed at least five children and injured at least 23 people highlight the dangers our children face as they travel to and from school each day. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school transportation-related crashes killed nearly 1,300 people from 2007-2016. These preventable fatalities and injuries should serve as an urgent call for our elected officials to improve the safety of our most precious commuters. Proven countermeasures to make school buses safer comprise the School Bus Safety Act (S. 3432/H.R. 6773) including requiring school buses to have seat belts in every seat and effective safety technologies like automatic emergency braking and electronic stability control systems. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has endorsed these overdue improvements. The bill would also require school buses to have an event data recorder (EDR) to capture critical crash information that can be used to better understand crashes and help avoid similar ones in the future, among other safety advances.
We laud the leadership of Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) for introducing this lifesaving, commonsense bill and urge Congress to take action on it immediately. Further, we call on the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) to adopt the comprehensive policy recommendations outlined in a recent NTSB pedestrian safety report to help protect children waiting for, boarding and exiting a school bus.
With a large voter turnout expected tomorrow, we urge all motorists to obey speed limits, turn off distracting devices, make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up, never drive impaired, and pay careful attention to pedestrians, bicyclists, law enforcement, first responders and people with disabilities. With over 100 people being killed on our roadways each day, we can and must do better.