U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
Monday, September 8, 2008
Contact: Kristin Schrader
Tel.: (202) 366-9999 or (202) 366-2309
Federal and State Law Enforcement Agencies Conduct
Nationwide "Strike Force" to Improve Safety of Interstate Buses
WASHINGTON - Last month, following several months of planning, state and local police and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) inspectors placed nearly 1,200 buses and 225 bus drivers out of service for non-compliance with federal safety regulations as part of the FMCSA's latest nationwide strike force aimed at strengthening motorcoach passenger safety, announced FMCSA Administrator John H. Hill.
During the most recent strike force action, which took place from August 4 through August 16, FMCSA and its state partners took to the highways and visited bus companies to ensure that passenger carriers were operating in compliance with FMCSA safety regulations. All told, approximately 12,000 inspections and 560 compliance reviews were completed.
"Passenger carrier strike forces are just one of several comprehensive strategies we use to ensure passenger carriers are operating safely and in compliance with federal regulations on our nation's highways," Administrator Hill said. "FMCSA and its state law enforcement partners will continue to press an aggressive inspection and enforcement regimen that will further improve safety."
On a daily basis throughout the county, commercial buses and drivers receive random safety inspections by federal and state law enforcement personnel. In 2007 alone, FMCSA and state law enforcement officials conducted more than 144,000 bus inspections, of which four percent of drivers and eight percent of buses were put out of service, which means a vehicle or driver is not allowed to continue operating until the critical safety violation has been remedied. To further intensify FMCSA's safety oversight, coordinated, unannounced, strike forces are conducted nationally and regionally.
"FMCSA greatly appreciates the work of our state partners who readily participate in these strike forces," said FMCSA Chief Safety Officer and Assistant Administrator Rose McMurray. "Our state partners remain an integral part of this ambitious effort and we look forward to continuing our work with them to improve passenger safety among interstate buses."
In fall 2007, an interstate bus strike force, involving 12 Eastern states and the District of Columbia, put 178 vehicles and 47 drivers out of service for non-compliance with federal safety regulations during a two-week period just before the Thanksgiving Holiday.
FMCSA strongly encourages anyone who is considering motor coach transportation to access our web site http://www.ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/Passenger/home.asp to review the safety records of passenger carrier companies and ensure that company has the necessary authority to operate. As always, anyone who observes unsafe behavior - whether on a bus or on the road - is asked to report such incidents to the safety hotline at 1-888-DOT-SAFT or online at http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov
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