North Carolina Bus Company Forced Out of Service Following Fatal Bus Crash

A tour bus heading from Greensboro to New York City flipped over on I-95 in Virginia, killing four women and sending 54 other passengers to the hospital for injuries, reports USA Today. The bus driver, employed by Sky Express from Charlotte, has been charged with reckless driving. Investigators have said driver fatigue caused the crash. Bus accidents in Charlotte and throughout the state are especially dangerous because of the number of occupants they hold.

Greensboro bus accident lawyers know that driver fatigue is a common cause of bus accidents, but the charter company has the responsibility to employ responsible drivers who can keep passengers safe during their travels. Driver fatigue is an act of negligence, so contact an experienced attorney to get compensation you deserve if you have been injured in a bus accident.
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It was reported that Sky Express has one of the overall worst safety ratings, according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Of all U.S. motorcoach carriers, Sky Express ranked near the bottom in driver fitness for repeated violations based on inspections conducted in the past two years. Inspectors from FMCSA found 24 fitness violations, ordering drivers to get off the roads until the problems were fixed. Sky Express also received a poor record in driver fatigue over the last two years of inspections. The tour bus company was handed 46 violations for drivers being behind the wheel too long and keeping inaccurate travel records.

As a result, FMCSA recently issued Sky Express an Unsatisfactory Safety Rating and has placed the motor coach company out-of-service for violating several federal safety regulations. Sky Express is no longer permitted to operate in interstate transportation services, effective immediately.

“FMCSA will not tolerate passenger bus companies that endanger public safety,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “Working side-by-side with our North Carolina state law enforcement partners, we took strong action to shut down this unsafe bus company.”

During the month of May, FMCSA inspectors and state law enforcement partners throughout the United States cracked down on charter bus companies. More than 3,000 surprise carrier safety inspections were conducted over a two-week period. Results from the inspections cited 442 unsafe buses and drivers to be removed from roadways (315 buses and 127 drivers).

Also in May, a new final rule was issued by the Department of Transportation that requires those interested in obtaining a commercial driver’s license to first obtain a learner’s permit. State licensing agencies are also now required to use a standardized CDL testing system.

If you are planning a bus trip, view the FMCSA Safety Checklist before you make your reservations. This site is designed to help consumers research a charter bus company’s safety record and safety rating.

To report a complaint about a bus company, call the hotline at 1-888-DOT-SAFT or visit the FMCSA complaint website.

If you have been injured in a North Carolina bus accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential appointment to discuss the right course of action. Call 1-800-887-1965 today.

More Blog Entries:

Students at Increased Risk of North Carolina School Bus Accidents as Classes Begin, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, August 28, 2010

Victims and Survivors of Truck Accidents in North Carolina and Elsewhere Look to Revise Trucking Regulations, May 27, 2011

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