New Truck, Bus Firms to Get More Scrutiny Under U.S. Senate Plan

New U.S. trucking and bus companies would have to do more to demonstrate they have a safety plan before beginning operations under legislation introduced by the chairman of the Senate commerce committee.

The Senate bill would also give the U.S. Transportation Department more authority to shut down so-called reincarnated carriers, according to a statement today from Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat.

“We need to make sure that only the safest people are allowed to operate large trucks and buses and give the Department of Transportation the tools it needs to improve its oversight,” Rockefeller said.

The Senate bill, also backed by Senator Frank Lautenberg, the New Jersey Democrat who leads the surface transportation subcommittee, is expected to become part of multiyear highway policy legislation the Senate will take up next year.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates accidents, has highlighted the few safety requirements for new commercial carriers and the ease at which companies can reform under new names after being ordered to shut down as key challenges for the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The FMCSA in the past month has brought legal action against Gunthers Transport LLC, a Maryland trucking company, and RC Investment Inc., an Oregon bus company, for ignoring U.S. orders to shut down operations.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Plungis in Washington at jplungis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at bkohn2@bloomberg.net

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