The recent incidents of injury and fatal bus accidents across the nation prompted the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and its Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to implement stricter safety standards and more aggressive enforcement for buses and motor-coaches. However, according to MSNBC, a Georgia charter bus service apparently did not get the message.
In 2009, the metro Atlanta charter bus service, JT’s Travel and Charter, was ordered to shut down by federal regulators due to multiple citations for four safety violations. Many of the citations stated that the bus company failed to require drug testing for its drivers. To avoid penalties, and shutting down, the company simply changed their name to JCT Motor Coach Inc. and resumed doing business.
This did not help the bus company, however, as federal regulators ordered them to cease operations for a second time. The written federal order stated that the Atlanta bus service poses an “imminent hazard to public safety” and that their three buses are kept “in a mechanically unsafe operating condition,” which increases the risk of serious injury or death to its passengers. In fact, regulators found the company’s repair and maintenance program practically nonexistent.
A bus company changing its name is apparently a common practice. According to the article, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has investigated many fatal accidents during the last decade that involved bus companies that continued to operate under new names or in new locations despite having been ordered to cease operations by the DOT. In 2009, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified 20 carriers that had originally been in the service of companies previously ordered out of service by the federal government.
Operating unsafe vehicles is bad enough, but is even worse when a company refuses to comply with safety standards and refuses to maintain and repair its vehicles. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Georgia bus accident due to the unsafe practices of the bus company or the negligent actions of a bus driver, the Atlanta personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Wayne Grant, P.C., can help you exercise your legal right to pursue compensation for the losses and damages you’ve suffered. Contact us for a consultation today at 866-249-5513.