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FMCSA launches two-week strike force of buses

The strike force is a complement to a broader, ongoing safety effort launched in April 2013.

The Trucker News Services

8/26/2013

WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has initiated a two-week strike force of passenger bus safety inspections across the country, part of the agency’s Motorcoach Safety Initiative to remove high-risk buses and drivers from the nation’s highways.

In addition to surprise inspections, investigators will also visit new bus companies to assess their levels of safety, the agency said.

“Buses are a convenient, inexpensive way to travel, and we are committed to keeping them safe,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “During this two-week crackdown, we are removing dangerous vehicles and drivers from our roads and ensuring that companies who make a business of transporting passengers are also meeting the necessary safety standards.”

Law enforcement and specially trained investigators are inspecting buses for overall vehicle maintenance including brakes, tires and exhaust systems. They are also verifying driver qualifications and compliance with hours-of-service requirements.  Companies found to be violating safety regulations could be put out of service.

“Aggressive strike force inspections help save lives on our roadways and protect people who travel by bus,” FMSCA Administrator Anne S. Ferro said. “Strong enforcement efforts will increase safety and reduce serious crashes that result in death and injury.”

The strike force is a complement to a broader, ongoing safety effort launched in April 2013.  That strike force, which included special training for 50 FMCSA safety inspectors and targets the 250 highest-risk carriers, has resulted in 18 bus companies being ordered out of service for safety violations. The agency has also revoked the operating authority of 10 additional bus companies following compliance review investigations that resulted in an “unsatisfactory” safety rating.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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