NATIONAL CITY, Calif. – The U.S. Department of Transportation said it’s cracking down on tour bus companies, in light of the deadly bus crash outside San Bernardino earlier this month.
“It’s a good thing for the industry, to weed out the companies that aren’t following the laws,” said Sun Diego Charter owner Richard Illes.
Over the next two months, inspectors will examine companies with a history of accidents or safety violations.
Investigators said Scapadas Magicas LLC, the company that owned the bus involved in the collision near Big Bear, had a poor safety record.
“To me it’s never a good sign, nothing against Mexico, we just have higher standards here,” said Illes.
While Illes welcomes the investigation by the Feds, he questions its effectiveness – especially on companies operating on both sides of the border. An investigation by our partners at the L.A. Times found Scapadas is actually based in Tijuana, not San Diego.
He tells consumers to do their homework before hiring a bus service company instead of relying on the operators and mechanics to keep everything in check.
Here were some tips for picking a tour bus company:
- Make sure the company is currently licensed by the Department of Transportation and the Public Utilities Commission.
- Don’t be afraid to ask them for those license numbers and check online with DOT or the Better Business Bureau to find out about any violations.
- Check the company buses yourself before making a decision.