Every day, millions of people travel by bus throughout the United States. We at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) want to ensure that all of those passengers arrive safely to their destinations and travel safely back home.
By Daphne Jefferson
FMCSA – along with our federal, state and local partners across the country – is conducting the 2017 National Passenger Safety Initiative. The objectives of this coordinated enforcement effort are to: remove unsafe buses and drivers from our roadways; improve passenger carrier safety compliance; and increase public awareness of commercial motor vehicle safety.
Here in Washington, D.C., I have witnessed first-hand how strategic and collaborative safety partnerships can improve our nation’s roads. Motor coach inspectors and law enforcement officials from the United States Park Police, Metropolitan Police Department Motor Carrier Unit, Virginia State Police, Fairfax County (Va.) Police, and Loudon County (Va.) Sheriff’s Office joined FMCSA’s Eastern Service Center, Virginia Division, Maryland Division, District of Columbia Division and several FMCSA Arizona Border Inspectors as part of a multi-agency task force.
Both at East Potomac Park and Maryland Avenue – just steps from the U.S. Capitol – and away from passengers, FMCSA and our safety partners conducted bus inspections from March 20-23 and April 3-5, 2017.
Buses found to have significant safety defects were placed out of service, and those bus operators had to repair the affected vehicles before passengers could safely continue their journey.
Whether you’re preparing to visit popular destinations like Washington, D.C., New York City, or San Francisco, or planning travel arrangements for your upcoming summer vacation, we encourage all potential bus passengers to download FMCSA’s free Safer Bus mobile app or go online to Look Before You Book (both available at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/.
These tools allow consumers – before making a reservation and buying a ticket – to quickly learn if a bus company under consideration is authorized to operate and whether it has a history of safe performance.
Our Look Before You Book website also provides bus passengers with safety tips on how to identify emergency equipment, get familiar with using emergency exits and be prepared in the event of an emergency.
I salute the dedicated FMCSA staff across the country, as well as our federal, state and local partners, for their collective efforts and tireless work towards saving lives on our nation’s roads.
We also appreciate the bus operators and drivers who are responsible and committed to transporting their passengers safely. All of them are true champions for safety.
Daphne Jefferson is Deputy Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/look-you-book/look-you-book