FMCSA places bus company out-of-service following deadly accident

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Updated Jun 1, 2011

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Tuesday, May 31, issued an unsatisfactory safety rating and placed out-of-service North Carolina-based bus company Sky Express Inc. for violating multiple federal safety regulations. Under the out-of-service order, Sky Express is prohibited from operating in interstate transportation services.

“Safety is our number one priority,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We will use every resource at our disposal to pursue and remove from our roads unsafe, reckless bus companies.”

FMCSA says it issued the unsatisfactory safety rating and out-of-service order following a full compliance review of Sky Express, which found multiple violations in the areas of driver qualification requirements, drug and alcohol compliance, hours-of-service and vehicle maintenance.

“FMCSA will not tolerate passenger bus companies that endanger public safety,” says FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro. “Working side-by-side with our North Carolina state law enforcement partners, we took strong action to shut down this unsafe bus company.”

Sky Express was involved in a fatal crash on Interstate 95 near Fredericksburg, Va., that killed four people on Tuesday, May 31. FMCSA says it is working closely with the Virginia State Police to investigate the causes of the crash.

FMCSA and its state and local law enforcement partners recently conducted more than 3,000 surprise passenger carrier safety inspections over a two-week period that resulted in 442 unsafe buses or drivers being removed from the nation’s roadways. The strike force issued out-of-service citations to 127 drivers and 315 vehicles during the unannounced inspections that took place May 1-15.