|Photo by Margo Martin/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images|
American Bus Association President and CEO Peter Pantuso has released a statement regarding the October 23 bus accident in Desert Hot Springs, CA.
“On behalf of the thousands of members of the American Bus Association (ABA), we are deeply grieved for the loss of life and injury that occurred in yesterday’s bus accident in Desert Hot Springs, California and offer our sincere condolences to those affected by this tragedy,” Pantuso said. “We are grateful to the local first responders for acting quickly to care for those who were injured.
“Although the motorcoach company involved in the accident was not a member of our organization, ABA’s commitment to safety remains unwavering. ABA, which represents companies that own and operate two-thirds of all the motorcoaches on the road today, ensures safety is at the core of everything we do.
“Hundreds of millions of people depend on safe motorcoach transportation each year for business and leisure travel. The industry has justifiably earned their trust. Further, the U.S. Department of Transportation, along with the National Transportation Safety Board have both recognized motorcoach travel as one of the safest modes of surface transportation.
“Nonetheless, accidents do occur and we are committed to reducing the number of accidents and fatalities that take place on the road today. That is why we continue to work closely with our regulatory authority, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), to improve the effectiveness of bus inspections and the strict enforcement of safety standards. In fact, we have had ongoing discussions with FMCSA leaders to urge them to pay significantly more attention to operators with a history of violations and safety issues to ensure that unsafe operators are taken out of commission.
“ABA and its members are proud to be the industry’s leaders in promoting motorcoach safety and we will continue identifying and addressing safety issues that affect the entire industry, not just those that are ABA members. We will remain steadfast and committed to improving the safety and comfort of the millions of passengers that rely on us for safe and efficient transportation.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of all those who were affected by this horrific tragedy.”