Blog

New Legislation Will Ban Reprieves for Unsafe Bus Companies

on 11/11/2012

2011 was a bad year for bus safety, and Texas bus accident attorneys recorded a number of serious and fatal accidents around the country.  One of those accidents involved a bus operated by Sky Express, which crashed in Virginia, killing 4 people.  Investigations later revealed that the bus company had been involved in multiple violations before, and at the time of the accident, had been under a 10-day extension period granted to it by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. 

The Department of Transportation is now working to make sure that no other bus companies are ever granted such extensions in the future.

The accident occurred on May 31, 2011, when the Sky Express bus flipped over on the highway.  Four people were killed in the accident.  Investigations later revealed that the bus driver had dozed off at the time of the accident.  He currently faces several counts of involuntary manslaughter.  After the accident, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shut down the bus company for multiple violations.

However, that wasn't the first time federal regulators were made aware of Sky Express’ long record of bus safety violations.  In the 10 months preceding the fatal bus accident, the company had been cited by investigators a total of 204 times.  The company was ordered to shut down, and was granted a 45-day period, in which it was given time to prove that it had fixed its safety problems. 

However, after the 45-day time period ran out, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration did not immediately force the company to shut down as it should have.  Instead, it granted Sky Express a 10-day extension, giving the company more time to prove that it was safe to operate.

It was during this 10-day extension period that the accident occurred.

Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood has now ordered the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to stop granting such extensions to unsafe bus companies.

Tags: Bus Accidents, Texas

blog comments powered by Disqus