EDISON - Citing a pair of recent, fatal bus crashes in New Jersey and New York, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg says he plans to hold hearings on why changes in bus-safety rules proposed in 2009 have not come to fruition.

Lautenberg, a Democrat who chairs a Senate subcommittee on surface transportation, says he'll 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 department proposed changes including installation of seatbelts for passengers, better roof-crush performance and onboard devices to monitor drivers' hours and fatigue.

A bus returning from a Connecticut casino crashed Saturday in New York killing 15 while on Monday night, a bus from New York to Philadelphia crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike in East Brunswick, killing two people.