The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has shut down 26 curbside bus companies on the East Coast, citing multiple safety violations and in some cases, evasion of safety regulations and unscrupulous operating practices. Curbside bus companies offer cheap fares for passengers traveling through the Northeast Corridor. Rather than collect and deposit passengers at a bus terminal, these companies pick up and drop off passengers at the curb. They keep costs low by paying their drivers low wages, maintaining low overhead and failing to take appropriate safety precautions.
Buses and Operators Posed "Imminent Safety Hazards"
Recent fatal bus accidents prompted the FMCSA to shut down companies based in numerous states along the East Coast. The companies were shut down for violating several safety regulations.
Many of the bus operators fail to perform required safety inspections of their fleets, exposing passengers to the possibility of personal injuries from defective or damaged buses. Additionally, many curbside companies do not perform background checks or drug tests on their drivers and fail to confirm their drivers have a commercial driver's license. Some operators also neglect to monitor driver hours-of-service and log rest hours, which causes driver fatigue from long, back-to-back shifts.
The most brazen operators have histories of resurrecting their companies under different names after being caught violating safety regulations, and doubt the government's conviction in shutting them down. The FMCSA's actions should change these operator's attitudes-and actions.
Unsafe Behaviors Cause Tragic Accidents
Unfortunately, these unsafe operating practices cause fatal accidents. Two crashes in March 2011 killed 17 and injured many others. One of these crashes occurred on I-95 in the Bronx borough and the other on the New Jersey Turnpike. These crashes were catalysts for the FMCSA's actions.
Hopefully, shutting down these curbside bus companies will keep bus passengers safer. If you are injured in an accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.