Whether you’re traveling by air, bus, or rail, your safety is always DOT’s top priority. And today I want to talk about what DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is doing to improve the safety of our nation's roadways for the more than 750 million passengers who ride motorcoaches and buses.
Last week, FMCSA awarded $8 million in federal grants to Pennsylvania to strengthen law enforcement efforts targeting buses and trucks on high-crash corridors throughout the state, and will also help the state conduct safety audits.
As part of that effort, FMCSA Deputy Administrator Bill Bronrott joined with Pennsylvania officials last week at a surprise safety inspection checkpoint in Philadelphia to announce nearly $175,000 in funding for that city's commercial motor vehicle inspection unit that will be used to increase safety inspection strike forces at popular tourist destinations.
FMCSA also awarded the Pittsburgh Police Department nearly $240,000 to bolster commercial truck and bus inspections at tunnel entrances and to train its commercial motor vehicle enforcement unit.
And yesterday, on the opposite side of the country, FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro was in Bismarck, ND to award the North Dakota Department of Transportation nearly $350,000 for an electronic commercial driver’s license testing system across that will help prevent fraud and ensure uniform testing. FMCSA also awarded the North Dakota Highway Patrol nearly $2 million to ramp up compliance reviews, safety audits, and thousands of inspections throughout the state, including ports of entry and remote border locations.
As Administrator Ferro was announcing the award, law enforcement officials throughout North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming conducted surprise bus driver and motorcoach safety inspections. The three-state inspection sweep is part of FMCSA’s important year-round safety partnership with the states.
Why all of these efforts? The answer is simple: we owe it to the traveling public to protect the safety of our roadways. The grants announced yesterday in North Dakota and last week in Pennsylvania will help our law enforcement partners save lives and ensure commercial carriers and drivers are operating in full compliance with federal safety regulations.
As Administrator Ferro said yesterday, "All we ask of motor carriers is safety in their operations and maintenance practices and observance of all federal and state safety regulations and local traffic laws."
That sounds like a good prescription for passenger safety.