The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has begun a two-week strike force of passenger bus safety inspections across the country. This is part of the agency’s Motorcoach Safety Initiative designed to remove high-risk buses and drivers from our nation’s highways. In addition to surprise inspections, investigators will also visit new bus companies to assess their levels of safety. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, in making the announcement, said:
Buses are a convenient, inexpensive way to travel, and we are committed to keeping them safe. During this two-week crackdown, we are removing dangerous vehicles and drivers from our roads and ensuring that companies who make a business of transporting passengers are also meeting the necessary safety standards.
Law enforcement and specially trained investigators are inspecting buses for overall vehicle maintenance including brakes, tires and exhaust systems. They are also verifying driver qualifications and compliance with hours-of-service requirements. Companies found to be violating safety regulations could be put out of service. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, Anne S. Ferro, had this to say:
Aggressive strike force inspections help save lives on our roadways and protect people who travel by bus. Strong enforcement efforts will increase safety and reduce serious crashes that result in death and injury.
The work of this strike force, a complement to a broader, ongoing safety effort launched in April 2013, is taking place in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. The strike force, which included special training for 50 FMCSA safety inspectors, targets the 250 highest-risk carriers. It has resulted in 18 bus companies being ordered out of service for safety violations. The operating authority of 10 additional bus companies was revoked, following compliance review investigations that resulted in an “unsatisfactory” safety rating. As part of the effort, the FMCSA launched a SaferBus mobile app to give bus riders a quick and free way to review a bus company’s safety record before buying a ticket or booking group travel. The SaferBus app, available for iPhone, iPad and Android phone users, can be downloaded for free by visiting FMCSA’s “Look Before You Book” webpage at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/saferbus.
Source: FMSCA Release
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