WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal regulators say they will require that new tour buses and buses that carry passengers on scheduled routes between cities be equipped with seat belts. It's a safety measure sought by accident investigators for nearly a half century.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Wednesday that beginning in November 2016 all new motorcoaches and other large buses must be equipped by manufacturers with three-point lap-shoulder belts.
The agency said seat belts could reduce fatalities and moderate-to-severe injuries by nearly half.
Hundreds of motorcoach passengers have died and even more have been injured, many severely, since the board made its initial recommendations. Victims have included Texas crashes that killed Vietnamese churchgoers and members of a high school girls' soccer team en route to a playoff match.