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 Fredericksburg.com, 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 shutdown 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 level 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.
Approved by attorney Julie Heiden