Bus crashes happen much more often than people realize, and bus passengers end up seriously injured or killed.
Last week, a California tour bus carrying over 50 people to a casino vacation rolled over on a California freeway near Los Angeles, and 52 bus passengers suffered injuries; luckily, no fatalities were reported. This is just another example of how people boarding buses for vacations, to go to school or church, or for daily transport to work or to shop, are at real risk of being seriously hurt in a bus crash.
More examples within the past few weeks of serious bus accidents that did result in fatalities were detailed in our recent post, “FOUR SERIOUS BUS CRASHES IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK: HOW DANGEROUS IS IT FOR YOU OR YOUR KIDS TO RIDE ON A BUS.”
FMCSA Crackdown on Bus Crash Dangers Across the Country – Surprise Inspections
Apparently, the federal government has taken note of these bus crashes routinely making the national news. This week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it is implementing country-wide bus inspections over the next two weeks.
FMCSA is sending out a group of federal bus inspectors which it describes as its “strike force,” to conduct surprise inspections of buses being used in all parts of the nation – and the FMCSA bus inspectors are going to be dropping in to check on new bus companies to insure that they are complying with federal bus safety standards, too.
During these two weeks’ surprise bus inspections, the FMCSA group will be supported by additional manpower provided by law enforcement agencies. It’s not a blanket review of every bus on the roads, though: certain bus companies are the focus of this “dangerous bus hunt” and bus passengers should not feel secure that the bus they planning on riding in the next few weeks or months has been okayed by a surprise federal inspection.
What will they be checking on these buses?
Surprise FMCSA bus inspections are targeting known danger spots on buses, including brakes and tires. Bus driver records will be reviewed, too, to make sure that the drivers have the proper driving expertise and that they are meeting the new HOS (hours of service) regulations.
“Aggressive strike force inspections help save lives on our roadways and protect people who travel by bus,” said Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “Strong enforcement efforts will increase safety and reduce serious crashes that result in death and injury.”
Phone App to Check Safety of Buses Before Riding Them
The federal government is also providing people thinking about riding a bus, or putting their kids on a bus, a phone app to check the safety of that bus company. This can be downloaded for free from the FMCSA’s web site on its “saferbus” page. (It will work with iPhone, iPad, and Android operating systems.) Click on the image below to learn more about this app and where to download it:
Bus crashes and bus passenger injuries in a bus accident are real. Most assume that they are rare, but more and more news stories are reporting about buses being hit, rolling over, colliding with highway medians, slamming into the backs of vehicles (rearending), having tire blowouts, and other bases for serious accidents on the roads. It’s a real problem out there, something that parents putting kids onto buses for school or camp as well as adults taking buses on vacations or travel trips need to recognize. Be careful out there.