WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Bus Association (ABA) recently embraced the plan by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to conduct a full review of motorcoach safety, the findings of which will be used to create a "Motorcoach Safety Action Plan" by August 2009.
"The motorcoach industry looks forward to working constructively with all of the federal agencies involved in this review and recommendation process to achieve the shared vision of making the safest form of surface transportation even safer," said ABA President & CEO Peter J. Pantuso. "The motorcoach industry has been calling on federal regulators to devote more resources to motorcoach safety research, testing and enforcement since 1997, so we welcome the actions announced by Secretary LaHood."
LaHood said the findings of a departmental review will lead to the creation of a U.S. DOT "Motorcoach Safety Action Plan" that will outline ways in which motorcoach safety can be improved for the 751 million passengers who travel motorcoaches annually.
"Motorcoaches have been a safe form of transportation in the United States for many years, but even a single crash or accident is unacceptable," LaHood said. "As Secretary of Transportation, safety is my top priority."
ABA hopes such a plan will include vigorous law enforcement to get outlaw operators off of the roads and shut down their facilities; stepped up crackdowns on drivers for moving violations such as speeding and Hours of Service non-compliance; increased destination inspections; and a more thorough vetting process for prospective new operators.
U.S. DOT will include NHTSA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in the creation of the plan. It will also consider recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board.
Source: American Bus Association