FMCSA Recommends Seat Belt Use on Motorcoaches

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has amended its pre-trip safety guidance information for motorcoach passengers to encourage the use of lap/shoulder seat belts.

FMCSA added the recommendation in response to the recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration final rule on motorcoach occupant protectin that was published in 2013.

The FMCSA revision suggests that all passengers aboard motorcoaches use lap/shoulder seat belts when available, advising that the pre-trip briefing should address the issue.

Besides the additional seat belt information, the briefing covers such safety/evacuation topics as the location of emergency exits, where the fire extinguisher is stored, following driver instructions during an emergency and contacting 911.

NHTSA has already made the change to its rulemaking that requires all new motorcoaches to be equipped with lap/shoulder belts.

The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services  endorsed the FMCSA revision, along with pre-trip safety briefings, in a Facebook post on Friday, stating that all safety measures are important for “students and chaperones who take school buses or motorcoaches on field and activity trips.”

“These passengers sometimes don’t participate in scheduled evacuation and safety drills like regular school bus riders,” NASDPTS added.