Every day there are millions of people who pay their fees, board buses, and trust bus drivers to get them to their destinations unharmed. While the majority of bus passengers are transported to their destinations safely, there are some bad bus companies that put their bus passengers in harm’s way.
Due to the many bus crashes, injuries and fatalities that have occurred over the last couple years, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has begun scrutinizing motorcoach companies and their buses that travel and transport people between states.
The FMCSA and Bus Violations
The FMCSA governs the safety standards and rules motorcoaches are supposed to meet. When buses are found unsafe or motorcoach companies are violating the law, the FMCSA can shut them down—which is precisely what they’ve done through Operation Quick Strike.
After the FMCSA found in 2012 that some bus companies were ignoring rules and still operating unsafe buses—even ones that were ordered to be put out of service—they performed an eight-month operation in 2013 to make sure bad bus companies were shut down. As a result, Operation Quick Strike shut down 52 unsafe bus companies and removed 340 unsafe vehicles from the road.
Bus Safety: A Priority
While bus travel between Florida and New York and all across the U.S. has increased in popularity, bus companies—more than ever—should be putting passengers’ safety first. However, the FMCSA found that many motorcoach companies just wanted to make money instead of making sure their buses and passengers were safe on the highway.
This is why the FMCSA shut down those companies that were putting passengers at risk. The intense investigation involved 50 inspectors conducting in-depth reviews of the most at-risk motorcoach companies from April through November. Their efforts included:
- Inspecting 1,300 motorcoaches
- Completing 214 compliance investigations
- Closing down 20 motorcoach companies immediately for their imminent threat to passengers
- Issuing “Unsatisfactory” safety ratings and closing down 32 bus companies for failing to remedy the violations
- Removing 340 motorcoaches from the road due to safety and maintenance violations
Some of the safety concerns and violations inspectors found included:
- Failure to maintain buses
- Violating hours-of-service rules (driving longer than laws allow)
- Inadequate alcohol and drug testing for bus drivers
Sadly, any of these violations could cause bus accidents and injuries of innocent passengers. Because there are bus companies that want to see what they can get away with, it is critical to the public’s safety to check out the bus company before purchasing tickets. You can view a bus company’s safety record by looking at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/LookBeforeYouBook.
In order to save lives and keep your friends and family informed about bus dangers, we invite you to share this article on Facebook with those you love.