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highway 99 articles

Bus driver loses appeal to overturn sentence in wake of deadly crash

RICHMOND, Va. – An appeals court Tuesday upheld the convictions of a former low-fare bus driver who allegedly fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed, killing four passengers and injuring dozens of others. A Virginia court convicted driver Kin Yiu Cheung in January 2013 on four counts of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced him to serve 40 years in prison with 34 years of the sentence suspended. Mr. Cheung immediately appealed the six-year sentence, arguing that prosecutors had failed to prove he demonstrated a reckless disregard for human life. The Virginia Court of Appeals rejected Mr. Cheung’s claim. Mr. Cheung was ... Read More

Army women’s basketball team members injured in tractor trailer-bus collision

BETHLEHEM TOWNSHIP, Penn. –Several members of the Army women’s basketball team were injured when a tractor trailer crashed into the back of the charter bus they were riding in Wednesday afternoon. Authorities investigating the crash said they do not know what caused the truck to hit the bus from behind, but said that engine problems had caused the bus to travel at a slow speed along the shoulder of Route 33 in Bethlehem Township when the tractor trailer hit it from behind. The driver of the truck was identified as Alton D. Spight, 54, of Blue Mountain, Miss. Authorities said ... Read More

New rule subjects commercial carriers to tougher penalties for safety noncompliance

A new rule published in the Federal Register Jan. 22 enables the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to suspend or revoke the operating authority registration of any commercial motor carrier that has demonstrated a pattern of “egregious disregard for safety compliance.” The new rule, which becomes effective Feb. 21, is also designed to prevent persons who have displayed a habitual disregard for U.S. safety rules from exercising a “controlling influence” over a motor carrier company’s operations, and from operating multiple entities in an effort to conceal noncompliance with safety rules. The FMCSA, which the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) ... Read More

Indiana considers tougher private-bus safety laws in wake of deadly church bus crash

A new bill that would hold privately owned and operated passenger buses in Indiana to some of the same safety standards as their commercial counterparts moved to the state Senate for consideration. The measure, designed to close a loophole that permits potentially dangerous privately owned buses to operate within the state, was introduced after the July 26 church bus crash in Indianapolis that killed three people and an unborn child and injured more than two dozen others. Senate Bill 238, which unanimously passed a Senate transportation committee vote last week, would require privately owned buses to submit proof of vehicle ... Read More

Fatal Oregon bus crash triggers multiple personal-injury and wrongful-death lawsuits

A number of lawsuits are piling up across the Pacific Northwest in connection with a 2012 tour bus crash in Oregon that killed nine people and injured more than two dozen others. One of the complaints, filed in Umatilla County, Ore., by a Vancouver, British Columbia attorney, seeks $700 million in damages from the tour operator and several other defendants. Days after the crash, U.S. authorities deemed Vancouver, B.C.-based Mi Joo Tour & Travel an “imminent hazard to public safety” and banned it from operating in the U.S. The bus company caters to Americans and Canadians of Korean descent and ... Read More

California bus crash injures 15, carrier has poor safety record

Fifteen people were injured Monday night when a tour bus traveling from California to Washington state crashed into the back of a truck on a state highway  in Tulare, Calif., about 170 miles north of Los Angeles. The operator of the bus has a known history of safety problems, but was allowed to continue operating, Southern California’s NBC4 News reported. Thirty-six people were aboard the bus, operated by the carrier “Fronteras del Norte,” which carries passengers more than a million miles per year up and down the west coast. Fourteen passengers and the 60-year-old bus driver were hospitalized with injuries, ... Read More

Federal authorities ban 52 unsafe bus companies from U.S. highways in December

Federal transportation authorities banned 52 bus companies from operating on U.S. roads in December due to safety concerns as part of an eight-month crackdown dubbed “Operation Quick Strike.” The intensified crackdown also pulled 340 unsafe commercial buses from the road, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said. The national crackdown on unsafe buses was spurred by the proliferation of low-cost passenger bus lines and a series of crashes that have killed and injured dozens in recent months. The FMCSA publicized the results of the crackdown just days after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) criticized the agency for failing ... Read More

NTSB safety officials want mandatory collision-avoidance systems in all vehicles

Federal safety officials are pushing the U.S. government to make collision avoidance systems standard equipment in all cars and trucks, saying that the technology exists and is accessible, but it won’t reach its full potential to save hundreds of lives and spare thousands more from crash injuries until it becomes as common as air bags and seat belts. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 35,000 people die on U.S. roads and highways every year. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials say that many of those fatalities could become a thing of the past if all vehicles had crash avoidance ... Read More

Miami charter bus driver faces manslaughter charges for deadly 2012 crash

The driver of a commercial bus that crashed into an overpass at Miami International Airport last December, killing three passengers and injuring dozens more, was arrested Nov. 27 after being charged with three counts of vehicular homicide and reckless driving. The driver, 48-year-old Ramon Ferreiro, maintains his innocence and told investigators that he became confused while transporting 32 passengers to a Jehovah’s Witness assembly in West Palm Beach. Passengers aboard the 1999 Van Hool charter bus, which was owned and operated by Miami Bus Service Corp, told police they warned Mr. Ferreiro he was going the wrong way, but he ... Read More

Critics attack new Hours-of-Service rule in Congressional hearing

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) head Anne Ferro told a House subcommittee that her agency is not open to repealing the new Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations that restrict driving hours and mandate resting periods for commercial truck and bus drivers. “No, absolutely not,” Ms. Ferro said in a Nov. 21 hearing in response to a question about undoing the new HOS requirements. The hearing, which critics named “Wrong Way: The Impact of FMCSA’s Hours of Service Regulation on Small Business,” was organized by members of the House’s Small Business committee who say the new rules deal a blow to small ... Read More