January 15, 2015

Pennsylvania residents enjoy the proximity to a tourist attraction that draws eight million tourists annually to the Commonwealth. It is estimated that the old world charm of the Amish found in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County generates $1.9 billion in tourist revenue each year.

Many of the people traveling to Pennsylvania’s Amish Dutch country arrive in chartered buses and commercial motorcoaches. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the government agency tasked with regulating commercial bus carriers, among other vehicles.

There are specific federal requirements regarding the operation of motorcoaches that are designed to ensure passenger safety. If you are responsible for organizing a tour group using a motorcoach, here are some things you should know:

— Any bus company that operates a vehicle capable of carrying 16 or more passengers must also maintain at least $5 million worth of accident insurance coverage.

— Commercial interstate carriers are required to obtain authority to operate from the FMCSA

— Interested parties can go online to the FMCSA website to review any commercially licensed bus company’s safety performance results.

— Commercial motorcoach operators are subject to drug and alcohol testing. CDL licensed drivers are also limited on the number of hours they are allowed to drive.

— According to FMCSA regulations, commercial buses must be routinely maintained and repaired in order to keep them operating properly and in safe conditions.

If you are a Pennsylvania resident who has been injured in a commercial bus accident you may be entitled to seek compensation. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, a civil lawsuit may be an appropriate remedy for your situation. Your Pennsylvania personal injury attorney can evaluate the facts of your case and determine whether you should move forward with your claims. In some bus accident cases, injured parties are able to receive compensation for their medical expenses and other related costs.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Bus trips carry precious cargo” accessed Jan. 15, 2015