NTSB Clarifies Stance on Motorcoaches

Posted on January 1, 2002

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has clarified its position on the use of motorcoaches for student travel. In a Dec. 20, 2001, letter to the United Motorcoach Association, NTSB chair Marion Blakey emphasized that the board did not intend to exclude motorcoaches in a 1999 report on school transportation safety. The report, “Pupil Transportation in Vehicles Not Meeting Federal School Standards,” strongly recommended against the use of anything except vehicles meeting the safety standards of school buses for transportation to and from school and school-related activities. It was meant to discourage the use of non-conforming vans. But it could have been interpreted to mean that schoolchildren should be transported only aboard school buses or vehicles that meet school bus safety standards, not including motorcoaches. The letter clears up any misunderstanding. “The board believes that motorcoaches play an important role in student transportation when they are used for their designed purpose, particularly longer trips on high-speed roadways,” Blakey said in the letter.

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