In 2014, Winn Bus Lines was one of the safest motorcoach carriers in the United States. Our safety record remains in THE TOP ONE HALF OF ONE PERCENT of all motorcoach transportation companies NATIONWIDE!
Not all motorcoach companies are equally safe.
While there are stringent safety regulations in place at the federal level (the "Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations," or FMCSR's; the complete set of regulations can be found online at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) website, http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov
and similar laws at virtually every state level, they represent the minimum safety requirements for a commercial motor carrier of passengers to remain in business. Some carriers, inevitably, will operate outside the rules. Student travel planners need a way to distinguish between safe and unsafe operators. We maintain the safest record in Virginia and one of the safest in the entire country.
Does the company even have authority to operate?
The DOT number is your best tool to begin your safety review of the motor carrier. All commercial bus and motorcoach companies operating across state lines must be granted "interstate authority" by the FMCSA. That authority requires a minimum insurance coverage, continued operation within federal and state safety rules and subjects the company and its vehicles and drivers to safety review and inspection by federal and state authorities at any time.
Review the bus company's record online.
The USDOT number serves as your key to online research of the carrier's safety record. Go the USDOT's motor carrier safety website at http://www.safersys.org , which can provide you with a snapshot of the carrier's safety record. The site will tell you:
If the carrier is authorized to transport passengers for hire;
If the carrier has current insurance in force;
The carrier's record of regulatory violations or "out-of-service" incidents; those times when a vehicle or a driver is found to be in violation of the rules, and a comparison to national averages;
The carrier's highway accident record;
The carrier's current USDOT "safety rating," if any, and the date of the carrier's last "compliance review," or onsite inspection by authorities.
You should never hire a carrier with an "unsatisfactory" or "conditional" safety rating.
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