FMCSA Needs More Funds to Prevent Bus Accidents

bus%20safety.jpgThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration needs more funds to be able to carry out vital bus safety initiatives that would prevent accidents. 2011 has been a deadly year for bus passengers across the country, with the fatality toll from accidents already standing at 25. Earlier this month, the chief of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration spoke before a Congressional hearing, asking for more funds for her agency to prevent these deadly accidents.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration chief Anne Ferro, her agency needs to be able to conduct more inspections of buses, especially long-haul carriers. Currently, the agency does not have the financial resources to hire the number of inspectors it would need to inspect every long-haul bus at least once a year. Additionally, Anne Ferro wants to hire more inspectors to be able to conduct surprise safety checks on buses.

Another major safety problem that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration chief wants to address is the low fees that a company has to pay to obtain an operating license from the United States Department of Transportation. Right now, that fee stands at a ridiculous $300. Ferro wants to increase the fee to make it harder for bus companies to obtain operating licenses. She also plans to increase fines for safety violations to $25,000 from the current $2,000.

Those are the agency’s plans, and unfortunately, as long as there are no funds, these plans will not be implemented.

So far this year, 25 people have been killed in several bus accidents across the United States, and dozens more have been catastrophically injured. Unless the federal administration earmarks essential funds for safety, Indiana personal injury lawyers are not likely to see any change in those terrible statistics very soon.