New bus regulations make it easier to shut down carriers
Posted On behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jan 24, 2014 in Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents
Some Waterbury residents may not know about the massive crackdown on the bus carrier industry in the last few years, an initiative that started with the federal government. A number of high profile and truly tragic bus accidents (coupled with the fact that industry was poorly regulated) sparked the crackdown, and some new rules that were recently passed will only further increase the regulation of this questionable industry.
The rules were passed by the Federal Motor Carrier Administration, which oversees intercity and interstate bus companies. The rules had to be put in place as part of a federal mandate that was passed in 2012. Under the new guidelines, bus companies can be shut down even if they have a recent inspection that came back with adequate results.
Though these new rules are in place, it doesn't mean that bus accidents will suddenly stop happen. It doesn't mean that some of these carriers will do anything they can to make a few extra dollars. There are two common ways in which bus companies negligently handle their business.
The first is the way they handle their drivers. They may bring drivers aboard who do not have the qualifications or the proper license to operate a commercial bus. They may also let the drivers skirt rest or sleep laws so that they keep operating their vehicles.
Another way that bus companies mismanage their business is by putting substandard vehicles out on the road, or failing to routinely perform maintenance on their buses.
Either of these factors could lead to a large number of innocent riders suffering serious, catastrophic or fatal injuries in a bus accident. This simply doesn't need to happen; and if it does, the victims (and their loved ones) could file civil claims against the bus driver and the bus company.
Source: Associated Press, "Shutting down unsafe bus companies to get easier," Joan Lowy, Jan. 17, 2014