Some Passenger Bus Companies are High-Risk Carriers

By Peter DePaolis

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) classifies some bus companies as “high-risk carriers.” There are over 2,000 of these bus companies of the 4,000 charter bus companies in the United States. These “rogue” bus companies, according to, attempt to skirt federal safety regulations for passenger buses.

The FMCSA turned its attention to these smaller companies after a string of deadly bus accidents. This past March, a bus accident killed 15 people in New York. In May, another bus crash killed four people and injured 53 others in Caroline County. Authorities in that crash charged the bus driver with manslaughter and shut down the bus company. However, the bus company attempted to re-form under a different name.

Transportation safety advocates want authorities at the state and federal levels to put more resources into safety enforcement. One advocate pushes for surprise roadside inspections, which have not been in place since 2005 because the bus industry said they were intrusive. There are inspections at destinations, but companies evade them by not showing up at the destination, according to the advocate.

Mandatory seat belts could be in place by the end of the year as well. Other measures such as devices to track driver hours behind the wheel and reinforced windows to protect passengers in a crash are also possible. Call today for more information.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia Injury Attorneys

Approved by attorney Julie Heiden

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.