Bus Company Demonstrates Ongoing Disregard for Safety of Passengers, Staff and Other Travelers
As a firm of trucking and bus accident lawyers, we work hard to hold trucking and bus companies accountable for their negligence on our roads and highways. The recent fatal bus crash in Pendleton, OR, is a yet another tragic example of a bus company demonstrating wanton disregard not only for the safety of its own customers and staff, but also for the safety of other travellers on the roads. This blatant contempt for the motoring public drives us to work even more diligently to stop such companies from operating on our roads. On the last Sunday morning of 2012, a tour bus crashed through a guardrail lining a steep mountain rode. The bus crashed 200 feet down the side of an embankment, killing 9 passengers and injuring 38. In the investigation that followed, the U.S. Department of Transportation ordered the bus company, Mi Joo Tour & Travel, to halt all U.S. passenger service, alleging the Canadian-based company failed to ensure its drivers had sufficient rest and scheduled them in violation of federal regulations limiting hours worked.
The driver during the tragic crash, Haeng Kyu Hwang, had been on duty for 92 hours over an eight-day period, officials said. The federal limit is 70 hours.
A bus company with a history of safety violations
The real tragedy is that the bus company has a history of putting the lives of its customers and other travellers on the road at great risk. The tour bus company had been cited for serious violations of motor coach rules during reviews in both 2010 and 2011. According to news reports on CNN.com, the bus operator was cited by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for 11 violations in 2010 and eight violations in 2011.
Among the violations were failure to implement driver alcohol- and drug-testing programs, failure to investigate drivers' backgrounds, and failure to regularly inspect push-out windows, emergency doors and emergency lights.
As truck accident lawyers, we feel a great anger when we hear of such violations of the FMCSA rules and regulations. Those guidelines are in place to protect the public and yet are repeated ignored and violated by bus and truck companies.