December 12, 2013
Officials with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced today that they shut down 52 unsafe bus companies and took 340 vehicles off the road in a coordinated action called Operation Quick Strike. The action shut down some of the most at-risk bus companies in the country in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Operation Quick Strike was the result of an eight-month investigation based on safety statistics and roadside inspection.
The announcement of the action comes weeks after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called into question the FMCSA's ability to keep dangerous bus operators off the road, citing recent crashes involving bus companies that had a history of demonstrating poor safety standards. "While FMCSA deserves recognition for putting bad operators out of business, they need to crack down before crashes occur, not just after high-visibility events," said NTSB chair Deborah Hersman in a statement last month.
Two of the 52 bus operators to be shut down in the U.S. were Mi Joo Tour & Travel and Scapadas Magicas. Mi Joo Tour & Travel was the bus company involved in a December 2012 crash in Oregon that killed nine people and injured 39 others. Investigators found that the driver of the Mi Joo bus had worked far more hours than allowable by law. Scapadas Magicas was involved in a California accident in February 2013 that left eight people dead and dozens of other people injured. In that crash, investigators found glaring examples in which Scapadas Magicas failed to maintain their buses and ensure that all their drivers were licensed.
In addition to shutting down dangerous bus operators, the FMCSA inspected over 1,300 vehicles and took 340 off the road for maintenance and safety violations. Inspectors also investigated over 1,300 bus companies that had either a limited inspection history or no inspection history at all. Out of those, 240 will continue to be investigated, according to CNN.