By: Joseph Cammarata
Officials from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
– a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Transportation –
recently concluded an eight-month investigation of unsafe bus companies
throughout the country. Operation Quick Strike – as the effort was
known – involved more than 50 trained investigators who conducted
in-depth reviews of 250 of the most at-risk bus companies. At-risk companies
in 22 states and the District of Columbia were identified using inspection
and safety data.
Federal safety officials who launched Operation Quick Strike aimed to enforce
safety standards in the commercial passenger carrying industry and protect
public safety. As a result of their investigation,
officials ultimately shut down 52 bus companies – including one bus
company in Virginia. Results from Operation Quick Strike included:
- 20 bus companies immediately shut down for violations that created imminent
hazards to public safety.
- 32 bus companies shut down after receiving "unsatisfactory" ratings
and failing to address violations.
- More than 30 companies went out of business or terminated interstate travel.
The FMCSA regulates only interstate travel.
- 340 busses put out-of-service for maintenance and safety violations.
Officials reported that Operation Quick Strike implemented new and stricter
investigation methods that will continue to be used in the future.
Some of the most common violations involved:
- Failure to adequately maintain vehicles
- Inadequate driver drug and alcohol testing protocol
- Hours-of-Service violations
Overall, the program was a success and will help to reduce risks of preventable
bus accidents across the nation. Although the commercial carrier industry
is heavily regulated, it is important that there be vigorous oversight
of commercial carrier practices so as to heighten awareness of the need
for safety in our nation's bus system.
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our Northern Virginia
personal injury lawyers are experienced in representing injured bus accident
victims. In 2013 alone, we obtained a verdict in a bus accident claim
against Greyhound in the amount of $450,000, and a settlement in another
bus accident case against Greyhound in the amount of $400,000. We also
successfully litigated a claim against Washington Metropolitan Area Transit
Authority (WMATA) and received a verdict in the amount of $783,644. The
verdict was determined to be "excessive" by the Judge, and reduced
by $200,000 to $583,644. To learn more about your case, contact our firm
for a free case evaluation.