Federal bus safety regulators announced last week that it will be shutting down 52 motor coach companies deemed to be a hazard to the riding public. After a nationwide investigation called “Operation Quick Strike,” feds uncovered bus companies whose drivers routinely drove more than 800 consecutive miles without rest and bus fleets that failed to meet even the most basic maintenance requirements. The inspection results were released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) just one month after it was blamed for failing to crack down on tour bus and truck companies, whose vehicles later crashed, killing 25 people.
The motor coach industry carries about 700 million passengers per year across approximately 4,000 different bus lines in the country. Its passengers not only include the general public, but also school bands, Boy Scouts and senior citizens. The largest motor coach association, the America Bus Association (ABA), has supported the federal investigation according to ABA spokesman, Dan Ronan.
Over eight months ago, more than 50 inspectors were trained by the FMCSA to look more closely at each bus company. “As a result, investigations that in the past might have been done in a few days in some cases took a few weeks,” says Anne S. Ferro, administrator for the FMSCA.
In one case, an Illinois-based company, Illini Tours, kept running one bus for several days while a warning light on the dashboard indicated that the anti-lock braking system was malfunctioning. FMCSA authorities are, however, allowing these earmarked companies to apply to reopen after supplying proof that whatever safety issues it had are resolved.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed as a result of a bus or 18-wheeler accident, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884.