Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Shuts Down New York City Bus Companies For Safety Violations
Our New York bus accidents lawyers regularly represent New Yorkers who are injured in bus accidents of all sorts including metropolitan transportation in New York City and Westchester, as well as motor coach accident. Recently two large bus companies who operate in New York City were shut down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for safety violations. When bus companies cut corners on safety, all too often innocent bus passengers pay the price with personal injuries and even death.
On March 8, 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declared Ming An, Inc., an interstate passenger carrier based in New York City, to be an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered the company to immediately shut down. The FMCSA made several disturbing findings including that investigation of Ming An’s operations and its vehicles concluded that the carrier operated in blatant disregard for federal safety regulations by failing to conduct pre-employment drug and alcohol testing and allowing unqualified drivers to operate buses in an unsafe manner with its drivers receiving numerous citations for speeding in excess of 15 miles per hour over posted speed limits.
The company also failed to require drivers to maintain log books or conduct vehicle safety inspections as required by federal regulations. The FMCSA found that the company lacked a systematic vehicle inspection, repair and maintenance program and inspections of Ming An’s buses and vans revealed that many had been modified with after-market seats in violation of federal safety requirements. The FMCSA also found that the violations and conditions of operations substantially increase the likelihood of serious injury or death to the bus company’s passengers and the public. These findings exposed an all too often practice of cutting corners on safety and recklessly disregarding the safety of the passengers.
FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro actually said that Ming An’s bus company operates unsafely by frequently using part-time, unqualified drivers, and often ignores basic safety maintenance and operating standards.
On March 1, 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shut down the Boston-based Fung Wah Bus Transportation using new authorities given to FMCSA under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. The Fung Wah Bus Company regularly operated from New York’s chinatown and the Connecticut casinos and catered to the Chinese community and New York’s gamblers. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that bus companies like Fung Wah that jeopardize public safety and refuse to cooperate with FMCSA investigators have no place on the road. The shut down occured when Fung Wah stopped cooperating with FMCSA safety investigators and blocked further access to company safety records. This sudden action makes the commuting public wonder what they are hiding that they would take such an extraordinary action. In response the FMCSA ordered Fung Wah to immediately provide its entire fleet of 28 motorcoaches for thorough and detailed safety inspections by qualified inspectors.
Our White Plains personal injury lawyers continue to monitor the safety records of bus companies that operate in Westchester county.