Unsafe bus and truck drivers continue to operate vehicles in the United States. This is very dangerous for everyone on the road and increases the chances of an accident. Reports show that unsafe truck and bus companies are involved in many accidents, and the Transportation Department is trying to crack down on these companies to prevent accidents in the future.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been trying to keep unsafe truck and bus drivers off the road for several years but hasn't been very successful, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB has said the FMCSA has not been "tough enough on unsafe operators" after several fatal bus accidents occurred during the last few years.
While the FMCSA has strict safety regulations truck and bus companies are required to follow, they haven't been able to keep unsafe operators off the road. This could be due to the FMCSA allowing certain companies to continue operating despite violating safety rules. The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety said that the agency allowed negligent drivers to operate with the promise that they would address and fix the safety issues. However, some carriers never fixed the problems and continue to pose a risk to the public.
The criticism of the FMCSA may change after they start using new regulations that allow them to stop unsafe motor carriers from operating even if the company scores well on safety audits. The new regulations allow the FMCSA to target companies that frequently violate safety requirements and continue to operate in the U.S.
The NTSB and safety groups hope the new regulations will help the FMCSA increase enforcement of safety regulations and reduce the number of commercial bus and truck accidents in the country.
Source: Bloomberg, "U.S. to Go After Worst of Worst With Tougher Bus Rules," Jeff Plungis, Jan. 17, 2014