Congresswoman Johnson: TX bus enforcement being stepped up
By Glenn Swain
With inspectors busily making surprise inspections on tour buses across the nation after a rash of accidents in the Northeast this spring, more focus is being directed at how local law enforcement can decrease the number of bad or illegal bus companies that are putting passengers at risk.
Texas Democratic Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson told BUSRide enforcement is being stepped up in her populous 30th District, which serves much of the city of Dallas and parts of Dallas County.
“We have one of the largest concentrations of populations in the metropolitan area,” Johnson said. “We’re trying to a better job with enforcement. It’s sometimes difficult unless we have a federal law. And finding the money to employ enough people to enforce the regulations that are on the books becomes a problem.”
One pesky challenge, Johnson said, is bus companies who close up shop one day and are open again the next.
“When we have standards, if they say they are not meeting them, that company can easily go out of business,” she said. “But it can reincorporate under another name the next day. That’s where we really have safety falling through the cracks.”
While enforcement is not where she wants to see it, Johnson says the effort is improving.
“It’s not what it should be, and I think a lot of it has to do with we have vehicles that are not based in the U.S.” Johnson said. “We are a border state, and it’s very easy for vehicle traffic to get back and forth to Mexico. There are a lot of companies that incorporate into three or four different names. They have an accident, go out of business, and then reincorporate by another name. That’s why it’s so important that we focus on safety regulations.”
Johnson supports the recently introduced BUSES bill set to be debated later this year.
Glenn Swain BR