FMCSA Tries To Root Out Dangerous Bus Operators

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On the heels of a series of fatalities and incidents that reached national media prominence, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has cracked down on those bus operating companies that may be lax in terms of safety.  The Los Angeles Times explores that crackdown in a new report.

Federal officials began looking into companies back in April, their efforts chiefly focused on those owners and operators who had exhibited a number of perceived safety violations.  As a result, the FMCSA has been able to find grounds to remove 340 vehicles from transit and make sure that 52 operating firms will not be able to carry on business.  One such firm was located in California.

Over the past year alone, 80 people have been injured and 25 have been killed in fatal bus crashes.  The investigations by the FMCSA resulted in the immediate shutdown of 20 firms with safety issues that they say constituted an imminent hazard.  In 32 other cases, the companies would have been able to avoid shutdown if they changed those issues that led the FMCSA to hand out an unsatisfactory rating, but they reportedly neglected to make those alterations.

Among other things, the violations could be maintenance problems, inadequate drug and alcohol testing, or a lack of adherence to mandated rest periods.  While the Chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board commended the FMCSA for their efforts, she pointed out that crackdowns must take place prior to crashes, as many of the operators shut down already had a history of problems.