U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently announced that state and local law enforcement along with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted 2,782 surprise passenger carrier safety inspections, across the nation, over a nine-day period. Their efforts resulted in 289 unsafe drivers or buses being taken off our roadways.
Our Texas bus accident lawyers think its high time that bus companies be monitored more closely, knowing the consequences that can result from a Georgia bus accident or tractor-trailer accident caused by an unsafe coach or driver.
In its effort to strengthen passenger carrier safety, FMCSA conducted surprise inspections beginning March 28 through April 6, 2011. Out-of-service violation citations were issued to 156 drivers and 262 vehicles by the enforcement strike force.
During a 17-day time period from March 12 to March 28, roughly 3,000 passenger carrier safety inspections were done across the country, resulting in nearly 10 percent of those passenger carrier vehicles being taken off roadways with reported violations.
“Safety is our number one priority,” said Secretary LaHood. “We will continue to use every resource at our disposal to shut down unsafe passenger bus companies that place motorists at risk and remove drivers from our roads who put passengers in harm’s way.”
“Working side-by-side with our state and local law enforcement partners, we can ensure that every passenger bus company and driver operates as safely as possible,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “These strike force activities are one of the many effective tools we use year-round to raise the safety bar for commercial buses and drivers on our nation’s roadways.”
According to FMCSA, safety inspections and compliance reviews have increased significantly on the nation’s roughly 3,700 registered motor coach companies. Although, the recent enforcement blitz comes in the wake of several deadly bus accidents, including one in New York City that claimed the lives of more than a dozen passengers.
Roadside motor coach safety inspections have increased from 12,991 in 2005 to 25,703 in 2010. Motor coach company compliance reviews have gone from 457 in 2005 to 1,042 in 2010.
The Obama Administration in 2009 developed a new Motorcoach Safety Action Plan. This plan includes proposed rules requiring that buses have seat belts and electronic on-board recorders (EOBR). These recorders are needed to replace paper records that drivers keep on themselves for their hours of driving. Strengthening driver heath requirements is also an issue that needs addressing.
Last year, regulations were put in place banning commercial drivers from texting while driving and banning hand-held cell phone use is being considered.
If you are involved in a Texas bus or truck accident, contact the Texas truck-bus accident lawyers at our Law Firm for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call or contact us through this website.