Consumer Protection Safety Tips
Making the right transportation choice for your group is easy when you use this convenient guide to help you with the selection process. This guide will help ensure that you have taken the appropriate steps in providing your group with a Safe Experienced Motor coach Provider.
- How long has the company been in the motor coach business; when was it established; how long has it been offering charter services? A long record of accomplishment is generally desirable.
- Request the company’s U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) number.
- Ask for a copy of the company’s most recent DOT Safety Rating. This is an evaluation given to an interstate motor carrier by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The rating is determined by a compliance review, an on-site examination of motor carrier operations, such as driver’s hours of service, maintenance and inspection, driver’s license requirements, financial responsibility, accidents, hazardous materials, and other safety and transportation records to determine whether a motor carrier meets the safety fitness standard.
One of the following ratings will be issued following a compliance review.
SATISFACTORY – A Satisfactory rating means that a motor carrier has in place a functioning adequate safety management controls to meet the safety fitness standard in 385.5 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR).
CONDITIONAL – This rating means a motor carrier does not have adequate safety management controls in place to ensure compliance with the safety fitness standard found in 385.5 of the FMCSR.
UNSATISFACTORY – An Unsatisfactory rating means a motor carrier does not have adequate safety management controls in place to ensure compliance with the safety standard which has resulted in occurrences listed I 385.5 (a) through (k) if the FMCSR.
- Request a certificate of insurance. Accepted levels of insurance call for a minimum of five million dollars combined, single –limit- liability coverage.
- Request References.
- Ask about the company’s fleet size, fleet size is important. It provides a gauge to the carrier’s ability to supply alternate vehicles in the event of mechanical problem. It also provides insight on the carrier’s ongoing success.
- Visit the company’s location and inspect their facility and vehicles, inspect the company’s operations if possible, you can learn a lot about a company just by looking.
- Learn if the company is a full service provider? Do they provide on-site maintenance? Can they provide a variety of vehicles to meet your needs?
- Does the motor coach company adhere to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Driver Regulations?
- Ask for the company’s procedures for on the road emergencies. The carrier should have access to a nationwide reciprocal maintenance agreement, which will assure your group prompt servicing of equipment.
- Does the company have a formal Drug and Alcohol Program? Request a copy of their written drug and alcohol policy. Never Charter from a carrier that does not strongly enforce a drug free workplace.
For more information about Bus Carrier Safety go to: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/consumers.aspx.