APNewsBreak: NY senator wants bus safety grades

By MICHAEL GORMLEY | June 19, 2011 | 7:29 AM EDT

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York is asking the federal government to post letter grades for discount tour bus companies so consumers will be able to easily see the companies' safety records.

The measure is prompted by a string of deadly bus crashes since a March crash left 15 dead in New York City. Since then, the state has sidelined hundreds of buses and bus drivers in a stepped-up safety inspection program. Many drivers were found to have had multiple driver's licenses with histories of violations.

The safety information is already public record. But Schumer says a simple letter grade is needed to clarify the record, and it must be posted so customers can see it before they buy tickets.

The Democrat is announcing his proposal Sunday.