The guy who keeps saying “I told you so” is really annoying, but we can’t resist. For months, we have been telling everyone who will listen that bus travel in the United States is incredibly dangerous. Often enough, it seemed as if nobody was listening.
Now, all our work had been vindicated. Late last year, federal government authorities finally took action. Officials from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) moved to shut down 52 bus companies with poor safety records. “Operation Quick Strike,” as the program was called, began its investigations in April 2013 and ended in December.
The scope of the problem
FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro told reporters that the 52 companies involved in the action “put safety by the wayside in order to compete in a very tight market.” Bus operators in 21 states and the District of Columbia were affected by the federal shutdown, including motorcoach carriers in:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- Washington, D.C.
Three bus companies closed under Operation Quick Strike later resumed business.
The Department of Transportation established the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on January 1, 2000. Its primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries through regulation of commercial trucking and bus travel industries within the United States.
Does this mean Greyhound is safe?
Although we need to salute FMCSA for its success in removing hazardous buses from the nation’s roads, the agency’s record here isn’t especially heroic. Operation Quick Strike was anything but “quick,” requiring eight months of investigations. In fact, the agency might not have released its results as soon as it did except for pressure from another federal agency, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). In November, the NTSB publicly accused FMCSA of stalling on bus safety issues in a way that contributed to fatal bus collisions.
This is also no time for consumers to let down their guards. We all need to bring up our expectations so that when we send our kid on Bus Tours to New York from New Brunswick, we can feel safer about it. FMCSA is using this time to promote its new Look Before You Book website to enhance bus safety for consumers, but that ignores the festering problems at the corporate level. The fact that a particular bus company was not caught up in this sweep should not be considered an endorsement of that bus company. Instead, it just suggests that inspectors did not spot any systematic rule violations in this project.
Bus accidents can happen anywhere in the United States, at any time. When they happen, the lawyers at Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers, are ready to listen to your story. We are ready to mobilize to get full and fair compensation for bus travel accident victims anywhere in the United States. Call for a FREE attorney consultation. There is no fee unless we win a recovery for your case.