Federal Government Cracking Down on Unsafe Buses

By Joe Gullo

Published 12/13 2013 12:58PM

Updated 12/13 2013 01:15PM

WASHINGTON - Two deadly accidents, in just a year, spurred a nationwide crackdown on bus companies deemed unsafe for the road.

Officials dubbed it Operation Quick Strike.

Last December a crash in Oregon killed nine people and injured 39 others. Then in February, eight people died and dozens were injured when a bus wrecked in California.

Federal authorities shut down the companies involved in those accidents, citing serious safety issues and they didn't stop there. The agency launched a nationwide review of the most risky companies.

A spokesman for the American Bus Association agrees with the decision to shutter the unsafe operators. "There's a small number in this case 52 that have had chronic histories of having problems," Dan Ronan said. "They've had problems with their safety, problems with their reliability, they don't train their drivers to quite the same level. And those are the types of companies that, as a consumer, you really do get what you pay for."

According to U.S. transportation officials, bus companies ferry more than 700 million passengers a year. They're convenient and cheap, ideal for many students and people traveling in large groups or with families.

How do you make sure the bus you choose is safe? Officials say it's important to check bus companies out online, especially at this time of year.

"It's holiday season, a lot of travel going on this time of year, kids coming home from college, families traveling. We do want passengers to remember 'look before you book," Anne Ferro, of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, said.

Officials say you can go to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's website to check out bus companies' records before you decide to buy your ticket.

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