bus safety

In recent weeks, federal authorities have shut down four motor coach operators for presenting an "imminent danger" to the public. Unqualified bus drivers, poorly kept records, and even instances of allowing passengers to ride in bus luggage compartments were among the myriad safety violations that caused the offending companies to be shut down.

Whether the actions will actually keep the companies out of business is another question. Such charter operators have a penchant for resurfacing under a new name — but with the same dangerous ways of doing business.

Since January, there have been six bus crashes resulting in 25 deaths, a string of accidents that has rightfully raised alarms in Washington. While bus travel has long been regarded as one of the safest modes of transportation in this country, the rise of discount charter operators and wholly unregulated web sites that broker tickets for these companies is a relatively new threat.

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