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September 19, 2008

Mark Gedris

UMA Submits Written Testimony for Senate Subcommittee Hearing on Motorcoach Safety

Yesterday, the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security held a hearing on safety and security regulations for the bus and motorcoach industry. The United Motorcoach Association submitted written testimony and UMA President & CEO Victor Parra and UMA Vice President of Industry Relations Ken Presley were in attendance.

“The bus and Motorcoach industry has a remarkable safety record. In the past decade, our industry has experienced an average of fewer than 23 fatalities annually, despite operating in an environment…which experiences over 40,000 fatalities annually in vehicular accidents,” noted UMA comments. “This strong safety record results from a combination of significant Federal regulatory oversight and an industry that treats safety as our economic lifeblood.”

UMA went on to describe how the association partners with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and others to find a means to prevent accidents from reoccurring. These measures range from regularly scheduled annual safety seminars to the Bus & Motorcoach Academy’s courses on driving safety and security regulations. UMA is also continuously working with the Bus Industry Safety Council and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance to continue to innovate new ways of making the industry safer.

UMA worked closely with the late Congressman Paul Gillmor, as well as Representative Bill Shuster to develop HR 4690, a comprehensive legislation rooted in research and testing Motorcoach occupant protection. UMA has also joined in a coalition with many other organizations to support ‘The Commercial Motor Vehicle Advanced Technology Tax Act’ which would provide incentives for proven safety technologies.

“We strongly believe that any new safety mandates and standards on the industry should be based on comprehensive science, research and testing…UMA believes strongly that it should develop those standards for installation on both new and retrofitted buses,” notes Presley.

As always, UMA stresses the commitment that the industry has to keep the highways safe. The bus and Motorcoach industry stands proudly by our safety record but we never rest in the diligent pursuit of improving that record. Our very survival hinges on those pursuits.

The United Motorcoach Association is North America's largest association for operators of motorcoach companies providing charter, tour and regular route services. Founded in 1971, UMA is comprised of over 1,100 members located all across North America, with more than 850 charter and tour bus operator members who provide transportation services in all fifty states, Canada and Mexico. Headquartered in Alexandria, VA, UMA is dedicated to protecting and promoting the interests of the entire motorcoach industry and providing its members with programs and services to enhance the success of their operations.
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