How does FMCSA address motorcoach-related mass transit accidents? | Kisling, Nestico & Redick
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Written by
KNR Legal
Date posted
February 27, 2015

The public transportation industry continues to serve the nation by providing safe travel to its citizens. As the demand for public transportation increases, so does the risk of accidents. In fact, a report released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicated that from 2001 to 2010, motor coaches were involved in crashes that averaged 17 deaths a year. In 2011, eight serious motor coach mass transit accidents have claimed 28 lives and injured many others.

Because of this, the U.S. Department of Transportation became concerned about the safety of motor coach occupants, passengers, drivers and other motorists. Together with the FMCSA and other safety agencies, a safety act was signed by President Obama on July 6, 2012. The “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” specifically refers to the type of vehicles that are considered a motor coach. This act also includes the “Motor Coach Enhanced Safety Act of 2012” that will require research on determining the crash avoidance features and crashworthiness of these vehicles.

Accordingly, it has been estimated that 4,000 companies make up the motor coach industry and they operate more than 35,000 vehicles nationally. As part of the campaign to ensure the safety of motor coach carriers, the FMCSA performed compliance reviews on 1,044 companies in 2010. The compliance review examined the company’s entire operation as well as how it follows standards and regulations. The agency discovered that many motor coach carriers have been cited for false or improper driver records of duty status and hour-of-service regulations.

The risk associated with mass transit accidents that involve motor coach carriers can be greater than for any other motor vehicle crashes. This is why federal safety agencies are doing everything they can to regulate the motor carrier industry and reassure public safety.

Source: FMCSA, “U.S. Department of Transportation Motorcoach Safety Action Plan,” accessed Feb. 25, 2015