Fatal bus crash prompts safety questions

Nov 24, 2014 6:12 PM by Charlene Cheng

According to federal records, Yellow Arrow Lines LLC, the company that owns the bus, has not been involved in any other crashes in the last two years, but the records also show one glaring omission.

"This company for some reason didn't have a safety record within the government's safety scoring system, and that's clearly a question that government officials will be trying to address in the next couple of days," said Dan Ronan, a spokesman for the American Bus Association.

Duane DeBruyne, with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, said that Yellow Arrow Lines has been in business since March 2013, and had already passed a safety audit six months later in September.

The administration has two years after a company's startup date to do an on-site compliance review, and only then, do they get assigned a safety score.

"We did a study a couple of years ago that shows that more than 50% of the accidents that result in death are caused by companies that have safety records that are either unsatisfactory, or they don't have a safety score," Ronan said.

Early police investigations point to the driver being fatigued.

Federal regulations limit how long bus drivers can be on duty.

Within a 15 hour workday, a driver can be behind the wheel for ten of those hours.

And according to the American Bus Association, compliance of these regulations usually results in safe travels.

"There are very specific rules about hours of service that good companies and when drivers and companies obey the service rules, that usually results in not having accidents. It's when companies disregard the rules then typically we have problems," Ronan said.

Due to this crash, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration moved up their compliance review.

They are already in the process of working with Yellow Arrow Lines, and the results will be turned over to local law enforcement agencies.


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