When people ride a bus, they are trusting their safety to not only the bus driver, but the company responsible for maintenance of the bus and training and regulations imposed on the driver. Unfortunately, bus accidents can be particularly grisly because of the number of passengers, lack of seat belts, or the fact that the use of seat belts, if present at all, is not required. Any bus accident, whether it involves tour buses, public transportation buses, or school buses, can result in serious personal injury or death.
On February 3, a tour bus in California was traveling to Tijuana, Mexico when it lost control and flipped. At least 8 people were killed and 38 injured. Scapadas Magicas LLC was the company under which the tour bus operated. According to FMCSA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Scapadas Magicas has a history of deficient bus maintenance. The company has received 59 violations over the past two years for only three buses. These violations were for federal regulations related to bus maintenance. Of these violations, 9 were so severe that they were categorized as “out-of-service.” For out-of-service violations, the problem was potentially so dangerous that the bus could not be driven legally until the source of the violation was remedied.
In addition, the FMCSA data indicates that Scapadas Magicas’s violations included inadequate tires and tread depth, power steering violations, turn signal and taillight violations, inoperative headlights, and a general brake violation. In fact, the violations were so severe that Scapadas Magicas received a higher propriety than many other motor carriers for government intervention. Over the last six months, this company was placed in the top 25% of United States interstate motor carriers with significant concerns related to maintenance safety.
In regards to the February 3rd accident, the company’s manager, Jordi Garcia, stated, “The information that we have is that the bus’s brakes failed and the accident occurred.”
While some accidents are simply accidents, it is imperative that the companies responsible for buses are held accountable for their vehicle’s maintenance and inspections. Violations of safety regulations can cause serious problems that result in bus accidents that leave some injured and others dealing with the loss of a loved one. One must wonder, with the company’s history of violations, if that was the case here.