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FMCSA shuts down 52 bus companies

The last two years have been fraught with high-profile bus accidents. Whether it is a bus careening down a ravine in the mountains of Southern California, or a bus driver falling asleep at the wheel in New York, bus crashes have certainly gained the attention of federal regulators.

With the holiday season in full swing and Christmas less than two weeks away, the federal government took an aggressive step to ensure the safety of the thousands of Americans who will be riding buses in the coming weeks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shut down more than 50 bus companies with spotty safety records. 

The shutdowns came as a result of “Operation Quick Strike” which was designed to root out companies that have been flying under the radar and avoiding scrutiny from regulators.  According to ABC News, the crackdown began with investigations of 250 companies with poor safety records. The FMCSA brought in additional investigators to handle the number of additional safety checks. The administration’s goal was to complete investigations that would normally take weeks in a few days.

The quicker turnarounds resulted in more companies being shut down for non-compliance with safety orders. In all, 52 bus companies were recently put out of business. The FMCSA believes that this will reduce the likelihood of a fatal crash during the holiday season.

The story is important from a legal standard because failing to adhere to safety recommendations could be seen as a company failing to use reasonable care in operating safe vehicles. If an accident is linked to failing to make necessary repairs, the bus company could be held liable.

Source: ABC, “Feds shut 52 unsafe bus companies,” Justin Pritchard, December 13, 2013

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