A federal investigation led to the shutdown of 52 bus companies nationwide, including three in Florida. As gasoline prices remain high and airfare skyrockets, public and charter bus travel is an increasingly popular travel option. But thousands of would-be bus travelers may have seen their reservations cancelled recently. That’s because a months-long investigation prompted federal officials to shut down 52 motor coach companies and take 340 buses deemed unsafe off America’s roadways.
The investigative campaign conducted by the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and dubbed “Operation Quick Strike,” began in April. Throughout the investigation, more than 50 trained inspectors took close looks at some 1,300 buses owned and operated by carriers with less-than-stellar safety records. Among the investigators’ findings:
- Drivers with suspended licenses;
- Drivers working routes of 800 miles or more without resting;
- Inadequate maintenance of buses, including one that was kept in operation for days after a warning light showed a problem with the anti-lock braking system.
Florida companies at least temporarily shut down because of safety violations include Branford-based Fabulous Coach Lines, Orlando’s Ricardo Transportation and Hialeah’s McRea Transportation. Nationwide, some 700 million passengers a year choose motor coach travel – a figure comparable to that of the domestic airline industry. To help keep those passengers safe, the FMCSA recently launched the SaferBus Mobile App, which allows users to check the safety performance records of the bus companies. If you or your dependents plan to travel by public or charter bus, be sure to check a provider’s safety records before you make reservations.
Get medical treatment for any injuries suffered while traveling by bus, then contact an experienced auto accident attorney. Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell, serving clients throughout Northeast and Central Florida, as well as Southeast Georgia, can be reached at 800-251-1111.