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Federal Regulators Shut Down 52 Unsafe Bus Companies

Posted by copeland on December 16, 2013

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A lot of holiday season travel is done via public or chartered bus services. But the options available to would-be passengers just got a bit scarce - and that's a good thing. In a major nationwide crackdown, federal regulators recently shut down 52 motor coach companies with unsafe records or risk factors.

A series of investigations by the US Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration dubbed "Operation Quick Strike" began in April, with more than 50 trained inspectors taking close looks at some 1,300 buses operated by 250 motor coach companies across the country. The move was prompted by news of several major crashes of carriers that had been allowed to continue operating despite dismal safety records.

Once completed, inspections resulted in 340 buses taken off the road and operations of 52 companies halted. Reasons for closures included lines whose drivers had suspended drivers licenses or had worked routes of more than 800 miles without rest, and inadequate maintenance. One Illinois company kept a bus running for days after a warning light indicated a problem with the vehicle's anti-lock braking system - all troubling considering that the motor coach industry carries upwards of 700 million passengers a year in the US, comparable to domestic airlines. Many of these passengers are youth sports teams or senior citizens.

Florida-based bus companies forced to close, at least temporarily, include Ricardo Transportation; McRea Transportation, Inc.; and Fabulous Coach Lines. These and other providers affected "put safety by the wayside in order to compete in a very tight market," Anne S. Ferro, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

If you or your dependents plan to travel by bus, be sure to check the bus company's safety records. The FMCSA has made that task easy for iPhone and Android users with the new SaferBus Mobile App. And, if you have suffered injuries or losses because of a bus company's or bus driver's negligence, contact a personal injury or auto accident attorney with Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates at 407-999-8995, or at 407-847-7277 in Kissimmee.