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Federal regulators shut down unsafe bus companies

While the day before Thanksgiving is a popular travel day, the days leading up to Christmas are comparably busy. Airlines and bus companies may have limited openings because of advanced reservations made by consumers. However, for fifty-two bus companies, there will be no holiday travel after they were shut down by the federal government.

According to a recent ABC News.com report, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shut down the companies as a result of “Operation Quick Strike,” a sweeping safety check prompted by high-profile bus crashes involving companies with spotty safety records. 

The operation reportedly began in April, when the Administration began looking into 250 companies with poor safety histories. It also brought in 50 additional inspectors to investigate these agencies.

The various unchecked safety violations included, failures to repair braking systems, violating hours-of-service rules and running vehicles that had visible problems with them.  The American Bus Association, the largest bus company industry group, supported the shutdowns.

We find this story important because failing to follow federal regulations could be viewed as evidence that a bus company failed to use reasonable care in the operation (and maintenance) of their vehicles. This is a critical element to be proven in order for a negligence claim to be successful. If the failure is deemed to be the cause of the accident, and thus a person’s injuries, the bus company could be held liable for the crash.

With that, an injured party could seek compensation for their injuries, including pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages. With a few more unsafe bus companies off the road,  it is believed that the number of crashes will decrease.

Source: ABC News.com, “Feds shut 52 unsafe bus companies,” Justin Pritchard, December 13, 2013

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