Charter Motorcoach Wreck in Dallas, Texas Happens During FMCSA Crackdown
Apparently, the crash of a private charter bus full of senior citizens that killed two and injured dozens in the Dallas suburb of Irving Thursday, April 11, came at a time when the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has been cracking down on bus companies nationwide.
The FMCSA has been conducting its aggressive crackdown for several months, with inspectors ordered to target 250 companies with questionable records on safety. Thus far, they have shuttered at least a dozen bus companies, with half of them deemed “imminent hazards.” Beginning April 1, the agency intensified its effort, sending out a team of 50 safety investigators all over the country, in order to take a broader look at carriers they consider to be “higher risk.”
The FMSCA is acting because of what it sees as “unacceptable” numbers of small charter bus companies and bus drivers who are operating unsafely. The focus on small charters is because they have traditionally not been subject to close scrutiny and thorough inspections due to their size and their tendency to operate outside the lines. According to an agency report that covered a long period, from 1975 to 2010, the number of bus fatalities hit its lowest point in 2009, 254 killed in 221 fatal crashes, but jumped back up in 2010, to 276 killed in 245 fatal crashes.
It is unknown whether or not Cardinal Coach Lines, the company that owned the bus that crashed Thursday, was one of the companies being targeted by the FMSCA’s crackdown, but a search of agency records reveals that the company received a “satisfactory” safety rating back in 2009. While there have been no crashes since then, two inspections resulted in pulling at least one bus and one driver out of service.
Too often, bus accidents are avoidable, if proper safety protocols are followed and drivers and mechanics are properly trained. When profits are put ahead of safety, passengers may be put on poorly maintained buses with bad drivers. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a bus accident such as the recent one in Dallas, the Texas Bus Accident Lawyer at Hill Law Firm is experienced in handling lawsuits against bus companies and are here to talk to you today.