According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), one way to ensure bus safety is clear: The organization, which works to promote commercial vehicle safety and security, says that Congress should lift the restriction prohibiting enroute safety inspections of inter-city passenger vehicles.
The organization’s Vice President, David Palmer, testified before the Committee and explained that enroute inspections go a long way toward increasing safety. Inspectors may check buses for any potentially concerning issues caused by mechanical failure, and perhaps more importantly, get an opportunity to firsthand observe the bus’s drivers.
“We are firm believers that many more lives could be saved and injuries avoided if enroute roadside inspections were once again permitted to allow states to conduct these inspections when and where necessary,” Palmer told the Committee.
In order to accomplish this, Palmer suggests that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) be given more oversight for inter-city passenger carriers. If this is done, Palmer says that the service rules for bus drivers could be more easily enforced.
In addition, the government could crack down on the practice of “chameleon carriers” – where a bus company changes its name and DOT number in order for its safety violations go undetected. Palmer says that if the FMCSA is given more authority to track these problems, the CVSA is willing to help the agency enforce the rules.