Last week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shut down The People's Choice.
According to a press release, officials found that the Hardeeville, South Carolina based bus company "failed to properly inspect, repair, or maintain" its fleet of vehicles. According to the FMCSA, it also failed to adhere to regulations limiting drivers' time on the road, dispatched "unqualified drivers," and did take enough steps to prevent possible substance abuse of those operating the buses.
The People's Choice is the 18th company shut down by the administration since the deployment of 50 "Operation Quick Strike" inspectors last April. This is part of a more aggressive strategy under Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
New regulations include the decrease of allowed weekly driving hours from 82 to 70. The administration estimates that this will save 19 lives and prevent 1,400 accidents per year. Drivers are also required to take scheduled breaks and limit their daily hours.
Interestingly enough, however, the new regulations specifically exempt all government drivers, including those driving school buses. That includes those transporting students across state lines to athletic and other events.
The FMCSA states that the ultimate goal is to fight and reduce chronic driver fatigue.