Questions About Bus Safety Follow Fatal Bus Crash | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Questions About Bus Safety Follow Fatal Bus Crash

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Dozens of buses leave from the D.C. region every day for destinations around the Northeast and southern states. A Sky Express company tour bus crash May 31 that killed four people has some people wondering whether the buses need more regulation.
Pete Thompson
Dozens of buses leave from the D.C. region every day for destinations around the Northeast and southern states. A Sky Express company tour bus crash May 31 that killed four people has some people wondering whether the buses need more regulation.

Virginia State Police are saying driver fatigue may have contributed to a tour bus accident that killed four people on I-95 in Virginia May 31.

The National Transportation Safety Board is now investigating the incident.

G. Williams runs his own tour bus company out of Gallery Place in Northwest D.C.

"Some don't know DOT rules and regulations. They just get a guy, stick him in there and let him drive," says Williams. "If DOT pulled these drivers, they would see half of them are in violation."

Tour bus companies are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and their safety records are logged and accessible on the agency's website.

Transportation Department officials say they were preparing to shut down the operator of the bus in Tuesday's accident last Saturday, the Associated Press reports. The company, Sky Express Inc., had a history of safety violations. But transportation officials gave the company an extra 10 days to appeal its unsatisfactory safety rating, allowing it to operate the bus that crashed early Tuesday morning.

The company has since been shut down, and the driver has been charged with reckless driving. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood now says he is directing his department to end its practice of extending appeal periods for operators found to be unsafe.

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