November 19, 2017

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NTSB Says FMCSA Not Doing Enough to Keep Unsafe Operators Off Highways

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Aerial view shows motorcoach at final rest and impact damage caused by signpost penetrating two-thirds of vehicle. Photo: California Highway Patrol

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Aerial view shows motorcoach at final rest and impact damage caused by signpost penetrating two-thirds of vehicle. Photo: California Highway Patrol

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In the wake of its investigation of a crash caused by a fatigued motorcoach driver, the National Transportation Safety Board reiterated its call for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to change its motor carrier safety rating system to ensure carriers with serious safety issues either mitigate those risks or be placed out of service.

While the board’s recommendations primarily apply to passenger-carrying carriers, some of them would likely affect freight carriers as well.

A sleep-deprived driver operating a motorcoach during early morning hours on a California highway caused a crash that killed four of the 24 passengers, NTSB said in a report released Nov. 13.

A motorcoach operated by Fresno-based Autobuses Coordinados USA Inc., traveling from Los Angeles to Modesto on State Route 99, drifted out of its travel lanes, striking a barrier system and a highway signpost shortly after 3 a.m., Aug. 2, 2016, near Livingston, California. The crash forces resulted in the signpost entering the passenger compartment and tearing through almost the entire length of the vehicle. The surviving passengers received serious-to-minor injuries.

Investigators determined the driver, who was seriously injured, had only about five hours of opportunity for sleep in the 40 hours preceding the crash, leaving him in a state of “acute sleep loss” at the time of the crash. There were no tire marks or other indication the driver took any action to avoid the barrier after the motorcoach drifted out of its travel lane.

According to FMCSA records, Autobuses Coordinados vehicles failed eight of 29 federal inspections in just under two years, pushing its out-of-service rate to 38%, almost five times greater than the national average of 8%.

NTSB determined that inadequate safety practices

Source:: http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/drivers/news/story/2017/11/ntsb-says-fmcsa-not-doing-enough-to-keep-unsafe-operators-off-highways.aspx

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