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U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater Announces Proposals Leading to Improved Small Bus Safety

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Buses Topics:  Rodney E. Slater

U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater Announces Proposals Leading to Improved Small Bus Safety

Federal Highway Administration
August 30, 1999

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 30, 1999
Contact: David Longo
Tel: 202-366-0456
FHWA 58-99

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater today announced a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) proposal to require businesses involved in interstate commerce operating small buses or vans to comply with three rules that would help the FHWA establish an objective basis for applying federal safety regulations.

"We are committed to a goal of reducing fatalities from truck and bus crashes 50 percent in 10 years, and this proposal will help achieve the goal and significantly improve safety, which is President Clinton’s highest transportation priority," Secretary Slater said. "The data we derive will help target investigations and enforcement – passenger carriers of all sizes must ensure before all else that the service they offer is safe."

The proposal would require these businesses operating vehicles for hire and designed or used to transport between 9 and 15 passengers, including the driver, to complete a motor carrier identification report. The purpose of this would be to allow the FHWA to determine the number of companies currently operating, the number of drivers employed, and vehicles operated. It also would require these companies to mark their vehicles with identification numbers assigned by the FHWA and to maintain records on crashes.

In a separate rulemaking notice also published today, the FHWA is temporarily exempting the operation of small passenger-carrying vehicles from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) applied the FMCSRs automatically to these businesses on June 9, 1999. The exemption will remain in effect for only six months while the agency reviews comments and information provided in response to other aspects of this rulemaking proposal.

The interim final rule and notice of proposed rulemaking are available in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s docket (Docket Numbers FHWA-1997-2858 and FHWA-1999-5710). The notices and all comments on these proposals may be viewed at http://dms.dot.gov on the Internet.

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