Buckling Option on Large Buses

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DELAWARE WATER GAP -- Your ride on a motorcoach may soon be safer because of a new law that requires buses to be built with safety belts.

This law goes into effect in three years, but one bus company in our area already has a head start.

Every hour or so, the Martz Trailways bus station in Delaware Water Gap turns into a pretty busy spot. That's when you can catch many Pocono commuters boarding a bus to New York City or getting off the bus to go home.

A new federal law requires that by 2016, all new motorcoaches and other large buses must be equipped with lap and shoulder seat belts.

Using them is recommended but not required.

It's a law some passengers say is a good move.

"You never know, dealing with other drivers, you never know how people react. So I think it's a great idea," said Corey Ingral of Marshalls Creek.

"I think it's a good idea," said Jeremy Baboolal of Henryville.

"It's like an overall trend," said Kenneth Dakan of Istanbul.

Safety officials say the seat belts will increase safety and reduce the risk of passengers being thrown out of a bus during a rollover crash.

"Honestly I think it's a great idea, with the stories of the buses getting into accidents, it would be great to have them protected," said Ingral.

Some Martz Trailways buses already have safety belts inside.  Company officials took the proactive approach back in 2009 and that's when they started ordering the new buses equipped with safety belts.

"That's a great start, to be quite honest," said Ingral.

"Last summer I was working out of New York and I took the bus every day so I've been on a couple of them that had it. But I never use it because it's not a mandatory thing," said Baboolal.

Right now, there are 77 Martz Trailways buses based in Northeast PA.

By the middle of next year, more than half will have safety belts.

School buses are not covered by the new law.