Secretary Ray LaHood
Remarks Prepared for Delivery
Bus Safety Press Conference Call Remarks
Thursday May 31, 2012
- Good morning. Thank you for joining the call today.
- Safety is our number one priority at the Department of Transportation.
- People get up every day and use a lot of different forms of transportation without thinking about the safety factor. And we don’t want them to worry about the safety of the bus they ride or the highway they drive on.
- We think about passenger safety so that you don’t have to.
- Today we are announcing that we have shut down 26 curbside bus operations that broke our safety rules and put passengers and other drivers in danger. These operators transport over 1,800 passengers a day, up and down I-95, from New York to Florida.
- This crackdown is a victory for bus safety and a victory for passengers.
- The elimination of these safety violators is the result of an unprecedented, year-long investigation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
- It is the single largest motor coach safety crackdown that DOT has ever undertaken. And now, a network of unsafe bus operators is off our highways.
- These operators—Apex Bus, I-95 Coach, and New Century Travel—blatantly and repeatedly violated safety rules.
- They used drivers who did not hold commercial licenses, and they drove buses that did not meet our safety standards.
- By ignoring safety rules, these operators put both passengers and other motorists at serious risk.
- And shutting them down could save lives.
- This is a notice to every bus company out there. Follow the rules and keep people safe—or we will shut you down.
- That’s good news for passengers, and it is good news for the many bus companies who provide good service, abide by the rules, and take safety seriously.
- Under the Obama Administration, we have made great strides in bus and truck safety. When it comes to safety, we take a back seat to nobody.
- We worked with states to launch regular bus safety strikes—these are surprise bus safety inspections conducted around the country.
- We developed the Bus Safety App—a free smart phone app that allows consumers to quickly look up the safety record of a bus company.
- And we called on Congress to give us greater authority to immediately shut down companies and drivers that pose a threat to passengers.
- The bipartisan bill that passed the Senate does just that. It gives us the teeth we need to further eliminate unsafe companies.
- We need Congress to act now and deliver a bill that makes our roads more secure for everyone.
- DOT’s commitment to passenger safety is strong. We won’t rest until our buses and highways are as safe as they can be.
- And with that, I’ll hand it over to Administrator Anne Ferro of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Anne will provide details on the investigation that led to this shutdown.
Updated: Monday, November 19, 2012