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Safer buses top U.S.' transportation wish list

By Bloomberg News

This article was published November 14, 2012 at 9:50 a.m.

— Cracking down on unsafe bus operators and electronic distractions in all kinds of vehicles have moved onto the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board’s “most-wanted list” of improvements.

Expanded crash-avoidance technologies in cars, trucks and buses, better infrastructure and a multibillion-dollar automatic train-control system also appeared for the first time on the board’s list, Chairman Deborah Hersman said Wednesday.

The safety board, which has no regulatory authority of its own, recommends actions by U.S. agencies, law enforcement and companies, usually after completing investigations into U.S. transportation accidents.

Its list represents the board’s latest thinking about changes that would save the most lives.

The focus on motor coaches comes after the board earlier this year wrapped up investigations of deadly East Coast wrecks involving so-called Chinatown bus lines. While bus safety has long been on the safety board’s radar, the board this year put renewed focus on poorly trained drivers, inattentive management and the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s inability to close companies with known safety deficiencies.

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