FMCSA “Quick Strike” investigations improve bus safety before holiday rush
Every day in America, a tremendous number of people travel by motorcoach. In fact, fifteen percent more trips are taken on motorcoaches than on airplanes.
That's why we're on the front lines of motorcoach safety. This week we announced the results of an unprecedented eight-month push called “Operation Quick Strike” to shut down unsafe motorcoach companies.
The outcome? Fifty-two bus companies and 340 buses put out of service and removed from the road.
Part of our larger Motorcoach Safety Initiative, “Quick Strike” dispatched more than 50 specially trained investigators from April through November to conduct in-depth reviews into the patterns and practices of the 250 most at-risk motorcoach companies.
Our investigations dug deeper than ever before and uncovered dangerous patterns of unsafe behavior and business practices such as company-wide maintenance failures; inadequate drug and alcohol driver testing programs; and widespread hours-of-service violations.
FMCSA is now training all of its investigators to utilize the new tactics employed during “Operation Quick Strike.”
Many of the motorcoach trips taken are not individuals traveling from city to city; some are chartered by church groups, athletic teams, field trips, and other school-related activities.
In our efforts to empower consumers and educate them about bus safety, we recently hosted a meeting with seven different national school-related member associations including our major bus industry partners. Last week, they came to DOT to meet with Secretary Foxx and my staff to learn more about making bus trips as safe as possible.
We want their members who use bus transportation to have the most complete information available to make the best safety-based decisions on the 4,000 motorcoach companies registered with us. So we told them about the SaferBus app, which helps travelers and trip planners alike check the safety record of a bus company before they book a trip. And we encouraged them to make their members aware that price shouldn’t be the only consideration when booking a trip.
For your own trip, visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov/LookBeforeYouBook for tips and resources before buying a bus ticket or chartering a bus. There you will find FMCSA’s SaferBus app for a quick and free way to review a bus company’s safety record. You’ll also find multi-language passenger checklists and a tool for reporting any safety violations.
As we say at DOT and FMCSA, safety is our top priority. And together with these groups--and your help--we can make a difference.
Anne Ferro is Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.