DOT investigating dangerous bus companies
Bus accidents continue to result in serious injuries and fatalities throughout the U.S. This is why the Department of Transportation recently announced that they would be cracking down on dangerous commercial bus companies to try and reduce these tragic accidents from happening in the future.
The DOT said that within the next two months, they will increase inspections and enforcement of commercial buses. They said they are also relying on local law enforcement to help stop commercial buses that speed, use cellphones while driving and make unsafe lane changes.
Federal officials said that they are trying to investigate and shut down if necessary, commercial bus companies that violate safety standards that the commercial industry is supposed to follow. This includes passenger safety standards, vehicle inspections and maintenance and driving qualifications for bus drivers.
Why is the DOT cracking down on commercial bus companies now? The main reason is because two fatal commercial bus accidents occurred within the last few months, raising awareness about the dangers commercial buses may pose to the public.
One bus accident occurred a few weeks ago in California where seven people were killed. The other accident happened in December in Oregon, where nine people were killed and an investigation found that the bus driver had worked longer than standard hours allowed in a week.
Safety advocates are pleased that the federal government is going to try and keep dangerous buses off the road. However, accidents can still happen and passengers should be aware of what commercial bus companies may increase the risk of being in an accident.
Passengers involved in a commercial bus accident can also pursue legal action against the bus driver and the bus company, especially if the bus driver’s negligence led to the crash. Victims and their families injured in a commercial bus accident should consult a personal injury attorney to discuss their specific case and what legal options they may want to consider.
Source: The Los Angeles Times, “U.S. announces crackdown on ‘high risk’ bus companies,” Richard Marosi, Feb. 15, 2013
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