Federal, state, and local police began conducting thousands of surprise bus inspections today before a national meeting on making motor coaches safer.
There have been at least seven fatal bus crashes and 27 deaths this year, including a March accident in the Bronx, New York, that killed 15 people returning from a Connecticut casino.
After a May 31 crash in Virginia that killed four, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood vowed that U.S. inspectors would use “every legal and enforcement tool available to shut down unsafe bus companies.”
Roadside inspections have almost doubled since 2005, to 25,703 last year, according to the department. The number of annual company safety audits more than doubled to 1,042 over the same period, the department said in a statement today.
Today’s meeting in Washington will enable company executives and regulators to share ideas on how to reduce crashes, LaHood said in the statement.
“This summit is about preventing needless tragedies and saving lives,” LaHood said. “We’ve seen the horrific consequences when motor coach companies do not make safety a top priority.”
© Copyright 2013 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.