For two weeks ending October 7, 2011, federal inspectors undertook a massive inspection sweep of commercial buses. The sweep involved thousands of buses, including school buses and tour buses.

Passengers are at risk when motor coach carriers do not follow federal safety regulations, including those related to bus maintenance and driver training. Defective parts and inadequate maintenance of buses have been cited as factors in many bus accidents this year. Last week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sponsored a bus safety summit in Washington DC. The summit discussed ways to enhance motor coach safety including issues related to driver fatigue.

In New York, bus safety has been a special topic of concern since the deadly accident earlier this year that killed 14 people in New York City. Fourteen people died in the accident caused when a discount bus carrying people back from a casino, flipped over on a highway and crashed into a pole. The bus was sliced into two. Dozens of people were injured, many of them seriously.

That accident, and many others like it this year, has galvanized the federal administration into action. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced a massive inspection sweep of buses to look for safety violations. The agency has increased its roadside inspection rate, doubling it since 2005. However, New York bus accident attorneys find that many bus companies continue operations under new names after they have been shut down for unsafe operations.