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Officials Re-examine Bus Safety to Help Prevent Fatal Bus Accidents in Boston, Nation

Recent accidents make it clear that curbside motorcoach operations are riskier than traditional buses, according to Boston Daily. Results of a recent study by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that curbside buses are seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal bus accident in Boston and elsewhere than the more conventional terminal bus operations.
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Our Massachusetts bus accident attorneys understand that in 2010, conventional carriers and curbside buses traveled nearly 2.5 billion miles between Washington, D.C., and Boston. Even with all of these miles traveled, federal authorities have no tracking mechanism or unique categorization for these buses. As of now, there are nearly 4,200 interstate motorcoach carriers that operate in the U.S. Nearly 100 of these carriers are curbside buses. There have already been more than 20 interstate bus accidents in 2011 that have resulted in more than 30 deaths and nearly 500 injuries.

These curbside buses are more difficult to track down for safety inspections because they don’t run out of a typical terminal. Even if these buses were easier to inspect, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would have a tough time doing it, considering they have less than 900 inspectors and nearly 800,000 buses to keep tabs on. If you break this down, every 1.15 inspector is in charge of looking over 1,000 buses.

Once a company is put out of business for too many violations, it’s hard to hold them down. Oftentimes these shoddy companies will just open up under the name of a new company. Many of them are using the same buses with a new coat of paint. Officials refer to the buses as “ghost buses.”

Just as the FMCSA can’t track down these buses for inspections, they can’t keep tabs on ticket sales either. These tickets are oftentimes sold through online brokers who are not under the federal adminsitration’s jurisdiction.

This new report will help authorities to plan a way to better regulate the safety of these buses.

“We fully support the report…and endorse anything that the FMCSA and the NTSB do to get the non-compliant bus operators…in compliance or get them off the road permanently,” Dale Moser, President of Coach USA.

The study was the final straw of recent busing accidents. Senator Charles E. Schumer said that after he witnessed the busing accident in the Bronx that killed 15, he knew something had to be done.

With the release of this report, the NTSB says its working diligently to tackle these problems. There’s no telling how long it could take, but until we can ensure the safety of the buses on our roadways, travelers are urged to look into the companies they ride with.

“When travelers board a bus, they should feel safe, whether the trip starts in a terminal or at a Chinatown sidewalk,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY).

If you or someone you love has been injured in a bus accident in Massachusetts, contact Boston Personal Injury Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 877-617-5333.

More Blog Entries:

Cheap Buses Are Deadly, by Janelle Nanos, Boston Daily
More Blog Entries:

Bus Accidents Highlight Safety Issues that May Endanger Massachusetts Passengers, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, April 6, 2011

Massachusetts students involved in bus accident en route to ski trip, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, December 6, 2010