Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that the agency, aided by local and state law enforcement officials, carried out 2,782 unannounced inspections of passenger carrier vehicles over nine days. As a result, 289 unsafe drivers or buses were removed from service.
As part of the FMCSA’s ongoing work to enforce passenger carrier safety across the country, the surprise inspections started on March 28 and lasted until April 6 of this year. Out-of-service violation citations were issued to 262 vehicles and 156 drivers. In addition to these inspections, 95 full safety compliance reviews were conducted in order to determine the safety rating of commercial bus companies.
Previously, during March 12 through March 28, at least 3,000 passenger carrier safety inspections were conducted in the U.S., which resulted in close to 300 passenger vehicles being removed from service. The FMCSA has significantly increased the number of compliance reviews and safety inspections on the over 3,700 motor coach companies registered in the U.S., in part due to the Motorcoach Safety Action Plan implemented in 2009. In 2010, 25,703 roadside safety motorcoach inspections were conducted, which is more than double the 12, 991 inspections conducted in 2005. Compliance reviews of motorcoach companies also doubled from 457 in 2005 to 1,042 in 2010. Passenger deaths have declined 19 percent, from 57 fatalities in 2004 to 46 in 2009, in what seems to be a direct result of increased inspections and compliance reviews.
In an effort to reduce bus accidents and passenger fatalities, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has recommended that seat belts be required on buses as well as electronic recorders onboard to replace paper records of driver hours, which can be easily falsified. Additionally, commercial drivers were banned from using their cell phone when driving.
When someone is injured in a bus accident that is caused by another person’s negligence, they may be entitled to compensation. At Anapol Weiss, our Philadelphia bus accident lawyers help injured victims and family members of those killed in Pennsylvania bus crashes understand the legal options available to them. To learn how we can help hold negligent parties accountable for their actions, call 1-866-735-2792.