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Sen. Brown Calls On Transportation Department To Improve Motorcoach Safety

Sen. Sherrod Brown
Andrew Harnik
Associated Press

Two weeks after a deadly Pennsylvania crash that killed five people, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) continues to advocate for improved motorcoach safety.

“One of the most important jobs of the Department of Transportation is to make sure that Ohioans are safe on the road,” Brown said on a call with the media Wednesday.

Brown says that American take 1.5 million bus trips every day.

With Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia), Brown pushed for the passage of 2012’s Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act, which required safety belts and anti-ejection glazing windows, among other measures, for motorcoaches on U.S. roads.

According to Brown, the Department of Transportation has yet to fulfill many of the actions called for in that law.

“We will continue to press the Department of Transportation to improve motorcoach safety,” Brown said.

John Betts joined Brown on the call. Betts' son David died in 2007’s deadly Georgia bus crash, which killed five members of the Bluffton University baseball team and two others.

Betts referred to the Department of Transportation’s inaction as “disappointing.”

Specifically, Betts pointed to the department’s failure to retrofit existing motorcoaches with seatbelts and the unit's slow pace to address the legislation's requirement of other protective measures.

“Let’s stop messing around with vulnerable public lives and complete my promise to the Bluffton baseball players and my son,” Betts said.