By: Ashley Page
Buses have become a very popular way to travel from city to city thanks to plentiful low fare ticket promotions. It is now commonplace for travelers of all ages to hop on a bus at Union Station, in D.C., to go anywhere from Maine to Florida. But, before you get on that bus this summer please be sure to check on the safety record of the bus company that you are traveling with.
Recently, two horrific bus crashes have brought bus safety back into the spotlight. In March, on I-95 in northern Virginia a party bus crashed in the early morning hours causing one fatality and multiple catastrophic injuries. In April, ten people in California were killed when a bus full of teenagers were involved in a fiery crash.
So, how can you as an individual rider find out about the safety of the bus that you are traveling on? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a comprehensive app, called SaferBus, designed to allow individuals to research bus safety. The app allows you to check on the operating status of a bus company. You can do this by searching by the bus company's name, Department of Transportation number, or Motor Carrier number. You can instantly see if the company has been ordered out of service for any period of time within the last two years. You can also pull up information about the company's unsafe driving history, hours-of-compliance record, driver fitness data, controlled substances and alcohol violations, and vehicle maintenance records. Additionally, the app provides an overall safety ranking based on the safety compliance performance among these categories.
If you spot a safety violation, a service issue, or discrimination, you should file a complaint immediately. The app also provides a portal through which to file complaints, allowing everyone to be a part of the effort to ensure that all laws and safety regulations are strictly followed. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. wishes you safe summer travels this vacation season!