According to reports, a South Carolina tour bus operator has been ordered to halt operations after federal regulators determined that it posed safety hazards to the public. There have been many instances of serious and fatal tour bus accidents around the country in recent years, which is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has heightened its surveillance of the industry.
On Monday, the FMCSA issued an order stating that Destiny Tours, of Lake City, South Carolina, and its owner pose an imminent safety hazard after an investigation was launched last month. The charter bus company mainly operates in the southeastern United States.
According to the FMCSA, the bus company submitted an inspection document that had been falsified and failed to conduct regular inspections and repair on the one motor coach it has in its fleet as required by federal safety regulations. More specifically, there was no evidence that the motor coach’s emergency exits have ever been adequately tested. The FMCSA also said the company has been operating despite a federal cease operations order that was issued in November 2010.
Destiny Tours is also accused of failing to monitor its drivers. First, the company is accused of not requiring its drivers to turn in driving logs that keep track of how much each driver is on the road. The FMCSA also found that the company failed to make sure that its drivers complied with regulations concerning controlled substances and alcohol use and testing. Apparently, drivers had been hired before passing drug and alcohol tests, which are required by federal law.
As part of the crackdown on the motor carrier industry, “Operation Quick Strike” was launched this year. The program involves 50 specially-trained safety investigators who target high-risk passenger carriers. In 2013, a total of 18 companies have received out-of-service orders. The hope is that getting these carriers off of the roads with prevent additional tour bus accidents from occurring and need injury attorneys to step in.