Passenger Carrier Strike Force targets commercial bus safety

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At an event Tuesday, Aug. 31, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Administrator Anne Ferro joined state and local officials at a commercial bus checkpoint to observe the safety inspection of motor coaches, tour buses and other commercial passenger vehicles.

The checkpoint was part of FMCSA’s annual national Passenger Carrier Strike Force, during which federal, state and local police agencies conduct thousands of motorcoach, charter bus and other passenger carrier inspections at popular travel destinations across the U.S. The sweep runs through Saturday, Sept. 4, and is taking place in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

“Safety is our number one priority,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We owe it to the millions of passengers who travel on commercial buses to make sure that every bus on the road is as safe as possible.”

“By taking the Passenger Carrier Strike Force to some of the nation’s busiest travel destinations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be able to reach a greater number of carriers and remove unsafe vehicles and drivers from the road,” Ferro says. “This safety initiative is a crucial part of our efforts to prevent crashes and save lives.”

In addition to these strike force sweeps, FMCSA performs roadside safety inspections of commercial buses on a daily basis throughout the year. In 2009 alone, FMCSA and its law enforcement partners inspected more than 130,000 commercial buses, which led FMCSA to place 4.3 percent of bus drivers and 7.6 percent of buses out-of-service for violations ranging from significant vehicle deficiencies to hours-of-service noncompliance. FMCSA also performs strike force sweeps of household goods movers and drug and alcohol compliance throughout the year.