The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and its state and local law enforcement partners are conducting safety inspections of motorcoaches, tour buses, school buses and other commercial passenger buses in 13 states and the District of Columbia.
The sweeps are part of FMCSA’s year-round effort to raise the bar for bus safety and protect bus passengers by taking unsafe operators off the road. Beginning May 11 and running through May 20, inspections are being held in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
As part of the inspection process, law enforcement officers are thoroughly checking buses for any mechanical problem, such as brakes, lights and engine defects. Bus drivers are also inspected to ensure they are operating in full compliance with hours-of-service, medical fitness, commercial driver’s license and other federal safety rules.
“Rain or shine, at any given location, federal, state and local police are on the ground conducting bus safety inspections that ultimately help save lives,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “Our goal is to make bus travel as safe as possible — every trip, every time.”
Over the past five years, FMCSA has doubled the number of bus inspections and comprehensive safety reviews of the nation's estimated 4,000 commercial passenger bus companies. Roadside motorcoach inspections have increased nearly 100%, from 12,991 in 2005 to 25,705 in 2010, while compliance reviews are up 128%t, from 457 in 2005 to 1,042 in 2010. By significantly increasing bus safety inspections, FMCSA placed 54 unsafe companies out of service in 2011 alone.