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Fatal bus crashes may lead to increased safety standards, part one

Last month, we wrote about a series of deadly bus crashes that took the lives of almost 20 people in New Jersey and New York. Now, the father of a 20-year-old college student who was killed in the second accident on the New Jersey Turnpike has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Super Luxury Tours, which operated the bus involved in the fatal crash.

The New Jersey accident occurred while the bus was en route to Philadelphia from New York City, where the college student had been visiting friends during his spring break from school. The bus was traveling southbound on the Turnpike when it suddenly went out of control. It struck an overpass before eventually coming to rest in a dirt embankment. The college student was partially ejected from the bus and later died of head injuries. The bus driver also died after being thrown through the windshield.

The crash occurred just three days after a fatal tour bus crash in New York, which resulted in 15 passenger deaths and several injuries.

In the aftermath of the fatal New Jersey accident, local law enforcement and national safety and government groups began to look into the tour bus company that was involved in the crash. It was soon learned that Super Luxury Tours, which specialized in cheap trips between East Coast cities, had the worst driver safety records of any bus company in the country.

Now, several members of Congress, along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, are pushing for additional safety features in buses. However, the bus industry has opposed the requirement of such features, claiming that they would be too costly.

We will continue our examination of the increased efforts to increase bus safety in a blog post later this week.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, "Montco man's death leads to call for bus-safety changes", Paul Nussbaum, 18 April 2011

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