Gov't to crack down on unsafe tour bus operators

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 14, 2013 at 2:13 pm •  Published: February 14, 2013

Eight people were killed and dozens injured after a tour bus crashed into a pickup truck in San Bernadino, Calif., earlier this month. Nine people were killed and 38 others injured when a tour bus crashed in northeastern Oregon just before New Year's. Both bus companies have since been ordered by the government to shut down for safety violations.

A post-crash investigation of Scapadas Magicas LLC, the bus operator involved in the California crash, found that the company's two other buses that had been operating in the U.S. had serious mechanical safety violations and that the company failed to have its vehicles regularly inspected.

The driver of the bus that crashed in Oregon had worked 92 hours in an eight-day stretch, surpassing the federal limit of 70 hours, an investigation found. The bus company, based in Vancouver, Canada, has since been shut down and the driver barred from driving buses in the U.S.

The motor carrier administration has 400 inspectors, investigators and auditors. The agency, which works closely with state police, currently oversees the safety of 525,000 motor carriers, such as interstate buses, tractor-trailers and household-goods movers. That includes more than 4,000 interstate bus companies responsible for more than 700 million passenger trips annually.

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