Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressman Cohen Questions Experts on Improving School Bus Safety

July 25, 2019
Press Release
School Bus Safety Act provisions endorsed by panelists

  

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) questioned witnesses before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit hearing on “Examining the Federal Role in Improving School Bus Safety.” 

At the outset of the hearing, Congressman Cohen noted that he and Senator Tammy Duckworth have introduced H.R. 3959, the School Bus Safety Act, to keep students safe as they travel to and from schools by implementing the safety recommendations of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The bill mandates that all new buses have three-point seatbelts, automatic emergency braking technology, collision avoidance and fire suppression systems. 

See that statement here

Congressman Cohen asked witness Kristin Poland, the Deputy Director of the Office of Highway Safety at the NTSB, about her office’s recommendations on seatbelts and collision avoidance systems. He also asked Brenda Sue Fulton, the Chair and Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, about resistance the commission encountered in making school bus safety improvements, including requiring seatbelts. See Congressman Cohen’s exchange with the witnesses here

After the hearing, Congressman Cohen made the following statement: 

“There is no more precious cargo than our school children. It is past time to implement the NTSB’s sensible and life-saving recommendations.” 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2008 and 2017, 1,241 people were killed in school-transportation-related crashes—an average of 124 fatalities per year. In November 2016, there were two high-profile school bus accidents in Chattanooga, Tennessee and another in Baltimore, Maryland that left 6 school-aged children robbed of their futures.