On behalf of the thousands of members of the American Bus Association (ABA), we are deeply grieved for the loss of life and injury that occurred in the August 3, 2016 bus accident in California and offer our sincere condolences to those affected by this tragedy. We are grateful to the local authorities for acting quickly to care for those who were injured.
As the investigation continues as to the cause of this incident, ABA’s commitment to safety remains unwavering. ABA, which represents companies that own and operate two-thirds of all the motorcoaches on the road today, ensures safety is at the core of everything we do.
Hundreds of millions of people depend on safe motorcoach transportation each year for business and leisure travel. The industry has justifiably earned their trust. Further, the U.S. Department of Transportation, along with the National Transportation Safety Board have both recognized motorcoach travel as one of the safest modes of surface transportation.
Nonetheless, accidents do occur and we are committed to reducing the number of accidents and fatalities that take place on the road today. We are deeply concerned that the company operating the bus involved in the accident as well as the driver has had a history of violations and compliance issues. Worse, the company was apparently operating a scheduled line run despite having no regulatory authority to do so, having been denied by the California PUC for an intrastate registration to conduct a fixed route service in 2014.
That is why we continue to work closely with our regulatory authority, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), to improve the effectiveness of bus inspections and the strict enforcement of safety standards. In fact, we have had ongoing discussions with FMCSA leaders to urge them to pay significantly more attention to operators with a history of violations and safety issues to ensure that unsafe operators are taken out of commission.
ABA and its members are proud to be the industry’s leaders in promoting motorcoach safety and we will continue identifying and addressing safety issues that affect the entire industry, not just those that are ABA members. We will remain steadfast and committed to improving the safety and comfort of the millions of passengers that rely on us for safe and efficient transportation.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of all those who were affected by this terrible tragedy.