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national transportation safety board 80 articles

Fatal Bronx bus crash mostly blamed on driver fatigue, speed

The horrific crash of a discount bus that left 15 people dead and 18 others injured on a Bronx highway last year was the result of a “perfect storm” of situations involving driver fatigue, speed, poor company oversight, and bad highway design, a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators concluded. The World Wide Travel motor coach was returning to Chinatown after an overnight gambling run to the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut. At 5:38 a.m. the bus swerved onto the shoulder of I-95, struck a guardrail, and toppled over. It then skidded for about 500 feet before it collided with ... Read More

Gas pipeline safety improvements stalled by loose cannon legislator

On September 9, 2010, a subterranean natural gas pipeline owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) exploded in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno, creating a wall of fire that towered over 300 feet tall. The massive explosion killed 8 people and injured dozens more. It also leveled 38 homes and damaged about 70 others. More than a year later, federal investigators issued a final report on the disaster that cited “multiple and recurring deficiencies in PG&E operational practices,” and concluded that the company suffered from safety problems described as “systemic.” Among the “litany of failures” the National ... Read More

Three bus crashes prompt NTSB to investigate commercial bus industry

The tragic bus crash that killed 15 people and injured 18 others on I-95 in the Bronx last month received such widespread media coverage that it largely eclipsed news of two other commercial bus crashes that occurred last month in the same region. One crash on the New Jersey Turnpike killed two people just two days after the New York Crash, while another on I-93 in New Hampshire injured 23 passengers on March 23. The bus that crashed in Pennsylvania was operated by Super Luxury Tours of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and was traveling south from New York City’s Chinatown to Philadelphia. ... Read More

Proposed HOS changes draw fire from all sides

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s latest Hours-of-Service revisions, which the agency hopes will drive down the numbers of fatigue-related commercial truck and bus crashes, have been criticized by industry professionals and safety advocates alike. Speaking for most commercial carriers, the American Trucking Association says the proposed HOS changes are “overly complex, chock full of unnecessary restrictions on professional truck drivers, and, at [their] core, would substantially reduce trucking’s productivity.” The national safety advocate Public Citizen took the opposite stance, saying that while the new rules are better for public safety than those adopted by the Bush Administration, they don’t ... Read More

Families of victims killed in Oklahoma truck crash settle for $63 million

A civil lawsuit over a tractor trailer crash that killed 10 people on an Oklahoma interstate last year has been settled for nearly $63 million, according to attorneys for both sides. Attorneys representing eight of the victim’s families announced that a $62.7-million settlement had been reached on Wednesday, October 7, and covers those eight wrongful deaths and one personal injury claim. A lawsuit for family of the two other victims was settled previously. The crash happened on June 26 of last year when 76-year-old Donald Creed, a driver for Kansas-based Associated Wholesale Grocers, drove his tractor trailer into a number of ... Read More

Texas jury awards family $1.8 million in Hyundai seat design lawsuit

A Texas jury awarded the family of a 19-year-old woman $1.8 million after finding a defective seat design contributed to her death in a July 2007 traffic accident. Rebekah Goodner and her sister Sara were taking turns driving their 2005 Hyundai Tucson from San Angelo, Texas, to Dallas when Rebekah lost control of the vehicle, causing it to roll over 3 times. Rebekah remained safely buckled in her seat and suffered only from minor neck pain. Tragically, Sara, who was also wearing her safety belt when the rollover happened, was thrown from the rear window of the Tucson and suffered ... Read More

Seat belts on commercial buses, a new NHTSA regulation

Passenger seat belts will soon be a requirement on commercial buses – a measure that the National Transportation Safety Board has long advocated but didn’t have the authority to enforce. Yesterday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has the legal authority to establish transportation safety standards, told Congress that it will require commercial motor coaches to have safety belts for their passengers. The new safety requirement comes after a series of fatal bus crashes that received national publicity. After analyzing the events surrounding a 2008 Utah bus rollover in which nine people died and 43 were injured, the NTSB ... Read More

Working conditions may have contributed to Colgan air crash

When one thinks of commercial airline pilots, one doesn’t ordinarily think of working part-time at a coffee shop, living with mom and dad, sleeping on crew lounge couches, and making $16,000 per year. But at that rate of pay, what other options are there? That was the life of Rebecca Shaw, first officer of Continental Connection flight 3407, which crashed after stalling in skies above Buffalo, New York. Tuesday we wrote that the National Transportation Safety Board was focusing its investigations on how much training and experience Captain Marvin Renslow had and whether he was competent enough to pull the ... Read More

Investigators focus on pilot competency in Buffalo plane crash

Serious questions have arisen about the competency and training of the pilot who was in charge of flying the Colgan Air commuter plane when it crashed last February in Buffalo, New York. The crash claimed the lives of all 49 people aboard and one person on the ground. Investigators will announce their findings tomorrow in the case. Transcripts of the cockpit conversation revealed that Captain Marvin Renslow and first officer Rebecca Shaw were likely not adequately trained and experienced to handle the particular flying conditions they faced. Moreover, the crew may have violated the cockpit rule of refraining from “irrelevant ... Read More

Public urgently needs better bus and trucking regulations

After analyzing the events surrounding a 2008 Utah bus rollover in which nine people died and 43 were injured, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that two situations fundamentally contributed to the deadly accident: driver fatigue and the lack of federal regulations to protect bus passengers. The American Association of Justice (AAJ) responded to the report by calling for a close review – and a possible revision – of federal transportation safety regulations proposed during the Bush Administration and currently pending. The AAJ released a statement saying that it supports opening “new rulemaking proceedings to enhance commercial transportation safety ... Read More