On Dec. 26, 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that they had ordered the immediate shutdown of Georgia bus company Aglemoarge Services, Inc. Atlanta based Aglemoarge Services is an interstate charter carrier that had operated a coach bus service with routes between Georgia and New York City.
Department of Transportation finds multiple deficiencies
After an in-depth investigation, federal regulators uncovered numerous safety violations that could have led to passenger injuries or deaths. Aglemoarge Services had failed to monitor its drivers and ensure they were complying with hours-of-service regulations, failed to ensure drivers met qualification requirements, and did not test drivers for use of alcohol and controlled substances. Furthermore, Aglemoarge Services came up short on safety standards for vehicle maintenance, neglecting to conduct regular inspections or make needed repairs.
“Safety is not optional if you want to operate a passenger carrier on our nation’s roadways,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a government press release concerning the shutdown. “We will always take action to protect the safety of the traveling public.”
Bus companies have a responsibility to ensure passenger safety
Unfortunately, the problems that plagued Aglemoarge Services are not isolated to just one or two carriers in the commercial transportation industry. According to figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation, over the previous decade, the average annual number of injuries suffered by bus passengers topped 25,000. What’s more, every year since 1988 the number of registered buses on U.S. roads has climbed, meaning that safety regulators are tasked with policing an increasingly larger and more complex network of commercial passenger carriers.
Like all drivers, bus operators have a duty of care to other drivers on the road. However, commercial drivers and their employers also bear a special responsibility for the safety of their passengers. Ensuring that drivers are trained, sober and well rested, as well as maintaining vehicles in a safe condition, are more than just a matter of compliance with federal oversight. When a commercial passenger carrier violates a safety standard and someone is injured as a result, the company can be held responsible for losses incurred by the victim.
Monetary compensation can help bus accident victims
Compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and wages lost while recovering from injuries are all examples of monetary damages to which bus accident victims may be entitled.
Regulations, fines and even mandatory shutdowns have their place in preventing injuries in the commercial transportation industry. Yet, when an injury has already occurred, the after-the-fact remedy of monetary compensation may be the only option to help victims get their lives back on track. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, talk to a personal injury attorney today – it could be the only way to recover the full compensation you deserve.