Watched C-Span randomly yesterday, one of the few resources both of actual news, and of reality television still left. They don't try to make the programming more appealing, and even though politicians speaking may have hidden motives, it's still the reality of what is occurring that the camera shows.
I turned it on, as two fathers are giving testimony of children they lost in the 2007 baseball team bus crash. Felt like a sissy, as I teared up a bit listening to these fathers try to keep their composure while speaking at the Sept. 18th, 2008 Senate hearing on surface transportation as it pertains to Motor Coaches.
As the fathers' completed testifying, and the Senator presiding (Lautenberg, NJ) tried to find an appropriate direction, they asked questions of Mr. Pantuso. He is currently president of the American Bus Association. It was obvious that Senator Lautenberg wanted to know how/why we haven't all just decided to put seatbelts throughout Coach buses nation-wide...also including school buses. There was some back and forth discussion, blah blah blah about studies, and placing the blame on government inaction, etc....more small talk.
For real? This is the bill being questioned/discussed, and it's updated version here. As you can read, both in the bill itself, and in the comments of the people interested.....it's not crazy. Why take so long?
Pantuso wrote an article about a month after this hearing, whining about there being more issues than just "seat belts - yes or no". Okay, I believe him. There seems to be more issues. But why wait to act on enforcement of seatbelts simply to do more studies in other areas? An actual quote from Pantuso says, "ABA is not opposed to seat belts, if the scientific research yet to be concluded demonstrates we need them."
Seriously? Do we need more scientific research that says a seat belt could help save a life?
All I know is....as a youth pastor who confesses to being a bit relaxed on reminding teens to buckle up.....I've just experienced an important reminder of how simple, yet crucial, that decision can be. And our church bus actually comes equipped with them.
Thanks to Mr.Forman and Mr.Betts for their honest testimony, and for bringing humanity to that moment of politics.
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