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Gadsden, Alabama

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Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts
Attorney • (256) 543-0400

Dangers of Unregulated Imported Commercial Vehicles

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I was listening to NPR a few weeks ago and it was interesting to discover that there are apparently many buses transporting passengers to and from Mexico that do not meet US safety standards. It appears these buses, sometimes transporting immigrants into the country, are registered in California. This registration allows the companies to transport passengers from Mexico to other border states as well.

Sometimes these Mexican-built buses can be sold to American bus companies. Unfortunately for the safety of passengers, these buses that do not meet US safety standards can be found traveling US highways in many border states and transporting people back and forth to Mexico.

According to safety experts, it is impossible to know how many of these buses are on the roads today. However, one such bus was involved in a Victoria, Texas, accident last year. The bus, a Volvo with a wheel base too narrow and window glass too weak to meet US standards, flipped onto its side after the driver dozed off at the wheel and overcorrected, drifting into the median. One person was killed and 46 were injured.

Late last year, the National Transportation Safety Board called for tougher bus standards as a result of the Victoria bus crash.

The board recommended three agencies identify the companies operating substandard buses, put the buses out of service and require the companies to cease operations or face losing authority to operate.