OLD BRIDGE - A recent spate of tour bus crashes, including a deadly crash on the New Jersey Turnpike earlier this month, has rekindled interest in legislation that would require regulators to act on longstanding bus safety recommendations.

A Senate hearing is taking place today in Washington where senators are expected to press Department of Transportation officials to explain their slow progress implementing bus safety recommendations by the National Transportation Safety Board, some of which have lingered for more than 10 years.

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a Democrat who chairs the Senate subcommittee on surface transportation, said earlier this month he would hold hearings into the timeline of implementing actions prescribed in the Department of Transportation (DOT) Motorcoach Safety Action Plan. He also wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood seeking quicker action on the proposed changes.

The recommendations are directed at large buses known as motorcoaches, and include requiring seatbelts for all passengers and electric onboard recorders to show how many hours a driver has been behind the wheel.

Lautenberg plans hearing on bus safety