To help reduce bus accidents, the FMCSA often shuts down entire bus fleets found violating the law. The agency just recently shut down several bus carriers operating in various areas of the country.
Larges buses and trucks pose a heightened danger to those traveling on the roadways simply because of their sheer size. Many often weigh in the hundreds of thousands of pounds.
In 2011, almost 14,000 bus accidents occurred in the United States that killed over 300 people and injured over 16,000. In 2012, that number increased; over 14,000 bus accidents occurred and took 284 lives and injured over 17,000 people.
Fortunately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration-the agency in charge of regulating commercial motor vehicles referred to as the FMCSA-cracks down on bus carriers found skirting the laws and putting lives in danger. In fact, the FMCSA often shuts down entire fleets because of their numerous, unsafe practices.
The agency just recently shut down several bus carriers operating in various areas of the country-all in an effort to mitigate unnecessary roadway accidents and save lives.
2014 Motor carrier shutdowns
On Eagle Wings Charter, located in Minnesota, is one of the CMVs recently shutdown. Last month, after dozens of violations were found among the 10 bus fleet, the agency ordered the company to cease operations. The FMCSA discovered that the company's owner allowed driver logs to be falsified and authorized drivers to work beyond the permissible driving hours.
Crystal Transport, located in Massachusetts, is another motor coach carrier company that was shutdown this past March. Federal authorities discovered the company was violating numerous safety regulations-many of which the company was cited for on previous occasions. The FMCSA also determined that the company was allowing drivers-who previously tested positive for controlled narcotics-to continue to drive. Like Eagle Wings Charter, drivers were also driving past the allowable driving hours.
Pandora Travel, also located in Massachusetts, was shutdown in March as well for similar reasons as Crystal Transport. Excessive speeding with numerous drivers and a lack of disciplinary action on the part of the company were also among the various citations listed.
Will shutdowns continue?
Steve Keppler, an executive with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, a nonprofit organization that helps promote CMV safety, points out a trend.
"How long [drivers] can work is directly related to how much freight and people they can move. Many will "falsify records to move more freight and more people," he says.
And he's right. Many carriers will skirt the laws to pad bottom lines. And, sadly, until the culture changes, it's likely more companies will continue to do so.
As of April 2014, the FMCSA has shut down over 75 bus and truck companies. The number will no doubt rise by Christmas.
Keywords: bus accidents, safety violations, shutdowns