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Published: Thursday, 6/19/2014 - Updated: 1 year ago

Senator, 2 Bluffton parents get recognition


WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) and the parents of one of five Bluffton University baseball players killed in a 2007 bus crash were honored Wednesday by a safety organization for their efforts to promote federal legislation that has stiffened motor-coach safety standards.

“We were happy to receive the advocacy award” from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Bryan resident John Betts said after attending the ceremony with his wife, Joy.

“Because of their work, we could keep our promise to David and the Bluffton players.”

David Betts died when the chartered bus carrying the baseball team to a Florida tournament crashed on an I-75 interchange ramp in Atlanta’‍s northern suburbs.

The crash, which also killed the bus driver and his wife, prompted the Bettses to press for regulations requiring such features as three-point safety belts, stronger bus roofs, and anti-ejection glazing on windows.

The Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act introduced by Mr. Brown became law in 2012, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced regulations late last year that, among other things, require lap and shoulder belts in all new motor coaches starting in November, 2016.

It also requires stricter qualifications for drivers and tougher vehicle inspections.

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