Rules lag to help bus passengers escape crashes

Associated Press Published:

WASHINGTON -- Safety advocates say rules to make crashed buses easier for passengers to escape have not been implemented despite a recommendation from accident investigators 15 years ago.

The National Transportation Safety Board recommended in February 1999 that federal regulators issue new standards for large buses so that after an accident passengers can easily open windows and emergency exits.

A tractor-trailer truck and a bus transporting high school students collided late Thursday near Orland, Calif., and caught fire. Ten people were killed.

Someone kicked out a bus window, and many of those aboard squeezed through and ran for their lives before the vehicle burst into flames.

Transportation Department officials didn't respond to an Associated Press request for the status of the safety recommendation.

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