THP Hosts 'Motor Coach Strike Force' Event
More Than A Dozen Motorcoaches Placed Out Of Service During Inspections Event
Nashville, Tennessee — The Tennessee Department of Safety released results today from the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s (THP) Motor Coach Strike Force event that examined the safety of bus operations throughout the state. The THP and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted state-wide inspections on buses from September 18 through 22.
“When passengers board a motor coach, they expect that bus to be safe. We want to ensure that is the case,” said THP Colonel Mike Walker. “Buses are one of the safest forms of commercial passenger transportation, but there is always room for improvement.”
During the Motor Coach Strike Force activities, 163 Motor Coaches were inspected, resulting in the discovery of 63 safety defects. Serious safety violations caused inspectors to place 15 vehicles, or 9.2% of those checked, out of service until the defects could be repaired.
More than 30 State Troopers and federal investigators participated in the activity. Inspectors checked a variety of areas on the motor coaches including brakes, suspension and other components. They also looked for any violations involving log books and other paper work.
The Strike Force is part of FMCSA’s National Motor Coach Safety Program that is broadening activities to reduce crashes and resulting injuries or fatalities. The program calls for FMCSA and its state partners to increase the number of motor coach company safety compliance reviews by 20% in 2006. The Strike Force included on-site visits and fleet inspections of motor coach companies throughout Tennessee .
In addition to increasing the number of compliance reviews, the Motor Coach Safety Plan calls for the establishment of formal motor coach inspection programs in all states, developing a separate prioritization system for motor coach carriers, improving motor coach safety data and expediting safety audits of new entrant motor coach carriers to nine months as opposed to 18.
The Tennessee Department of Safety ( www.tennessee.gov/safety ) is responsible for ensuring the safety and general welfare of the traveling public. The department’s general areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education and motorist services including the issuance of driver licenses. The department and its highly trained staff of Troopers are responsible for safety on more than 15,000 miles of state and federal highways.