Federal agency calls for stricter oversight of buses

Federal agency calls for stricter oversight of buses

Credit: UPI/Ralph Abraham

Rescue workers work to remove some of the 64 riders of a Megabus headed to St. Louis from Chicago, after a tire blowout and the bus hitting a bridge support in Litchfield, Illinois on August 2, 2012. Police say 31 people were taken to three area hospitals and three flown to Saint Louis hospitals in St. Louis. Litchfield is located along Highway 55 about 60 miles north of St. Louis. Police have reported one female person has died. UPI/Ralph Abraham

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 2 at 10:16 PM

LITCHFIELD, Il. (KMOV) – The National Transportation Safety Board is closely monitoring the deadly bus accident involving a Megabus as investigators determine what went wrong on Thursday afternoon near Litchfield, Illinois.

The NTSB recently investigated a major crash involving another bus company and an official tells News 4 that federal regulators are overburdened.   The NTSB has stated it has had concerns about motor coach safety for a long time.

News 4 looked into the history of Megabus and discovered one of the company’s buses was involved in a serious crash in 2010.  Four passengers were killed when the bus driver failed to notice low bridge warning signs and crashed into a bridge in Syracuse, New York.

The NTSB takes an in-depth look at only a handful of crashes per year, but the federal agency is calling for stricter oversight of the structural integrity of the buses, restraints and drivers.

“This is still relatively very, very early in the investigation,” Eric Weiss, NTSB official, said.  “Often times with accidents like this or accidents in other cases the first day or two lots of facts come out, but they are early facts.  Eleven months in may be the key fact we find out.”

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does the inspections for companies like Megabus.  It gives Megabus a ‘satisfactory’ rating.

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