NTSB

National Safety Regulations for Buses Trying to Catch Up with Aviation Standards

Have you ever driven on a highway and wonder how safe a bus was? Those private bus companies with fleets of massive coaches that carry senior citizens or a group of boy scouts that sometimes swerve in and out of lanes are finally getting a closer look. According to an article on CNN.com, the U.S. Department of Transportation shut down 52 bus companies and 340 vehicles on Dec. 12, 2013.

Canadian based bus operator allowed driver to far exceed 70 hr work week. Bus crash in OR last year resulted in 9 passengers killed. Photo courtesy of the Oregon State Police

Canadian based bus operator allowed driver to  exceed 70 hr work week. Bus crash in OR last year resulted in 9 passengers killed.
Photo courtesy of the Oregon State Police

This was part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA)  an eight-month effort, called Operation Quick Strike, which focused on the safety of motor coach operations. Operation Quick Strike spanned the entire country, employing 50+ highly trained investigators to review the safety standards and practices of 260 of the most questionable bus operators.  These companies were targeted based on safety data and roadside inspection.

Recall the tragic accident in Oregon about a year ago last December, when nine passengers were killed and 39 were injured in a bus accident. Investigations revealed that the B.C. based motor coach carrier with U.S. operations allowed its driver to far exceed the 70 hour work limit.

The FMCSA and advocates are seeking to impose the same type of safety standards to the tour bus industry as are imposed on the aviation industry, as it carries roughly the same number of passengers.

 

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