Greyhound Blasted for Backtracking on Safety

Dozens of relatives of bus crash victims denounced Greyhound President Dave Leach for backing off a commitment to support highway safety legislation. In a Feb. 29 letter, 63 signatories reminded Leach that he publicly announced Greyhound’s support for the Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act (MESA) at a press conference last July.

Members of the National Association of Bus Crash Families said they recently learned that Greyhound did not support HR7, a bill introduced by Georgia Democrat John Lewis and Texas Republican Ted Poe. The Lewis-Poe Amendment, as it is known, is identical to language in the MESA Bill, and replaces earlier provisions in the House version with a “Greyhound Compromise.”

“We negotiated with Greyhound in good faith and gave up important safety priorities in the interest of enacting a bill acceptable to Greyhound,” the National Association letter said. “As family members who have lost loved ones in motor- coach crashes, we are frankly incredulous that Greyhound would now turn your back on the commitment you gave us when you personally pledged your sup- port for this compromise.”

Leach was a featured participant in a July press conference urging passage of the revised MESA legislation with Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison, Sherrod Brown, Jay Rockefeller and Frank Lautenberg. At the event, Leach said, “We should support the strongest safety legislation that we can, not the weakest legislation we can. If we can do it, let’s do it.”

According to the National Association, Leach said Greyhound had already built seat belts, safer seats and other improvements into its new buses, and believed that such improvements should be adopted industry-wide. Bloomberg, for example, reported the bus company would support “legislation to overhaul motor-coach safety, including its mandates for seat belts and stronger roofs to reduce rollover fatalities.”

At the time, crash victims’ families offered high praise to Greyhound for supporting the revised bill.

Yen-Chi Le, whose mother was killed with 16 others in a 2008 crash in Texas, said victims’ families thanked Leach for “working with us to shape this legislation that will afford buses with the same basic safety standards that we already have in cars and planes.”

The letter was signed by: Dana and Caroline Arend • Flip and Ann Babin • Andy and Madonna Barry • Rick and Sandra Barry • Doug and Karla Battle • Chris and Missy Beach • John and Joy Betts • Mike, JoAnne and Gerard Bonura • Brad Brown • Rob and Remi Bryan • Ronnie Campbell • Keith and Gretchen Foley • Steve, Jeanette and Allison Forman • Jill and Ed Garrod • Dave and Lynne Goebel • Gary A. and Julie M. Harmon • Bruce and Carey Hoffer • Matthey and Martha Huch • Chan and Annie Khuu • Elaine Khuu • Selina Khuu • Craig and Tessa Koch • Muoi Lam • Brenda Latta • Chi-Chi Le • Hieu Le • Mai Le • Yen-Chi Le, PhD • Wayna Lim • Mike and Carolyn Martindale • Lynn and Barry Mesley • Brian and Tammy Michaelsen • Julie Nguyen • Jimmie Nguyen • Long Nguyen • Nga Nguyen • Tammy Nguyen • Melanie Psensik • Matt and Theresa Strawser • Jim and Linda Thibaut • Dung Vo • Tiffany Vo