DOT touts Obama administration record on bus safety

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“We have seen the tragic consequences of unsafe practices — whether it’s ignoring fatigue regulations, providing inadequate driver training, or failing to conduct the proper maintenance of a bus or motorcoach," he continued. "We continue using all of the tools at our disposal to get unsafe carriers off the road and hope that Congress will act on our proposal to provide us with the necessary authority to expand our safety oversight.”

DOT said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) had put eight bus companies out of service in just the last month.

The agencies have been criticized for the enforcement of its orders, however. The company involved in the May 31 crash in Virginia, which killed four people, had been ordered to cease operations by the DOT, but it was allowed to continue during a window that was extended to file its appeal during which the accident occurred.

The company was shut down immediately the following week.

Several lawmakers have filed legislation to make changes to bus safety. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) have introduced a bill to require seat belts and stronger windows on buses, and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has proposed buses be required to display their safety ratings like restaurants.