Motorcoach Safety: Results of Investigation Into NYC Crash Expected Today

It’s been over a year since the horrific New York bus crash that claimed 15 lives. After 14 months of investigation, federal findings on the cause of the accident are expected today.

The National Transportation Safety Board is also expected to recommend improved safety procedures for bus operators.

Some of the likely findings by the NTSB about the New York City bus accident are already known. Accident investigators have determined that the bus was speeding when it crashed. It is also well documented that the driver, Ophadell Williams, had a problematic work history and driving record involving numerous license suspensions.

There is also ample evidence that Williams was driving the bus while fatigued at the time it crashed. The NTSB has released records showing that Williams was using his cellphone and a rental car during a time when he asserted he was sleeping.

Driver fatigue is of course a problem in all types of transportation. Recent research evidence indicates that it has nearly as much negative impact on driver performance as drunk driving.

The New York bus crash last year was not the only fatal crash involving the motorcoach industry. There were also fatal accidents in New Jersey and Virginia.

Federal authorities are trying to respond. Last week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration took action against numerous curbside bus operations that shuttle passengers between New York and Florida on I-95. Authorities closed over 25 companies for safety violations in the largest crackdown on unsafe bus operators in years.

Source: “NTSB to Decide Cause of Deadly Tour Bus Crash,” NBC New York, Joan Lowy, 6-5-12

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