Several recent incidents involving tire blowouts on passenger buses have prompted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to take a closer look at the potential cause. In partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), FMCSA has conducted preliminary investigations that show potential safety concerns related to double-deck buses that may overload tires outside the suggested weight limit.
FMCSA today released a Motorcoach Safety Advisory Bulletin to raise awareness of this issue within the bus industry and urge companies to take action to prevent potential safety risks.
“Safety is our top priority at the Department of Transportation,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Travelers have a right to expect that their bus will be safe and well-maintained, and bus companies have a responsibility to make sure it is.”
The Advisory Bulletin states that safe motorcoach operators should have policies and procedures in place to monitor the loading of their vehicles, and take appropriate action (such as reducing passenger/cargo loads, distributing passengers throughout the bus, or increasing tire pressure) to ensure that they remain within the allowable tire weight rating and state vehicle weight limits. FMCSA is working with state officials to increase enforcement of these important safety provisions of federal and state laws.
“Our mission is to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “That is why we are asking each bus company to put safety first by paying careful attention to their procedures for checking tire pressure and loading passengers and luggage, in order to ensure the safety of travelers.”
To read the full Motorcoach Safety Advisory Bulletin, visit http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov.