FMCSA Announces New Measures to Improve Bus Safety

School%20Bus.jpgThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration this week announced a series of new measures that the agency believes will keep bus passengers safer, and prevent the multiple fatalities and dozens of injuries that occur in accidents in Indiana and around the country every year.

The new rules will change the current CDL laws, and will require that persons applying for commercial drivers’ licenses apply for a commercial driver’s learner’s permit first. Currently, there are no such requirements in place. The new rules would also impose a national standard for CDL testing, that’ll be uniform around the country. Right now, states are free to have their own testing standards.

Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is putting forth new proposals that will allow federal agencies to crack down harder on carriers that change their names and addresses after an accident and continue operating as before. The new rules would establish a federal standard to help determine whether a carrier is simply an old bus company in a new form.

Most importantly, the new rules allow consumers to make their own decisions about the safety of a company before buying a ticket. A new initiative called Think Safety: Every Trip, Every Time will provide consumers a checklist that they can use to determine a bus company’s safety rating, and whether the company has a DOT operating authority, before they decide to buy a ticket.

The new measures were unveiled by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who believes that the new rules will ensure that motor vehicle carriers are in compliance with federal safety regulations. What Indiana personal injury attorneys will really approve of is not just the stricter compliance with federal regulations and stronger Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) laws, but also the fact that consumers now have access to a carrier’s safety data before they decide to board a bus.