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Illegal Operators Pose Safety Risk

SALEM, Ohio — Traveling by bus is one of the greenest, most economical transportation choices available today. Passengers can read, relax and enjoy the scenery, and group travelers can take advantage of opportunities for camaraderie.

Fortunately, bus travel is typically very safe. But it’s important to research a charter company or bus operator before booking reservations or signing a contract to avoid booking with an illegal operators.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) “Look Before You Book” resources allow you to check operating status and safety records online or through the SaferBus mobile app.

Travel planners can get the FMCSA’s passenger safety information online at

The FMCSA recommends three key steps for planners arranging motorcoach travel:

(1) Make sure the bus company you choose is authorized to operate by researching the carrier online or downloading the SaferBus app at

(2) Review operator safety records online or with the SaferBus app.

(3) Ask carriers about driver qualifications and safety policies. Verify that your driver has a Commercial Driver’s License with a passenger endorsement, a valid medical examiner’s certificate and a safe driving history. Make sure the carrier prohibits drivers from texting and using cellphones while driving and has an active drug and alcohol testing program. And finally, ensure that the company complies with hours-of-service regulations that help prevent driver impairment from fatigue and that they provide a backup driver for longer trips.

 It takes only a few minutes to research bus safety, and it’s a critical part of a fantastic travel experience.