Secretary Ray LaHood
Remarks as prepared for delivery
Kick Off for Bus Investigator Training Course
Monday, March 25, 2013
Welcome to Washington and welcome to the Department of Transportation.
Today is a new day for motorcoach safety, and I thank you for being a part of it.
At the Department of Transportation, safety is our number one priority.
People get up every day and use a lot of different forms of transportation without thinking about the safety factor. At DOT, we don’t want them to worry about the safety of the bus they ride or the highway they drive on.
We think about passenger safety so that the traveling public doesn’t have to.
Preventing deadly bus crashes—and the devastating impacts that result from these tragedies—is an important part of our safety efforts.
Under the leadership of Anne Ferro, and with the help of investigators like you, we’re addressing this challenge head on—and making motorcoach travel safer.
Last May, we took swift action against 26 companies. These companies represented three major rings of unsafe operators who routinely ignored the safety rules, cut corners and neglected passenger safety.
Since then, we have shut down more bus companies that have put lives at risk - these companies showed a blatant disregard for safety by operating unmarked vehicles, failing to require drivers to record their duty time, and failing to release company safety records.
Investigators helped us put these bad operators out of business.
As investigators, you are the first line of defense. And we need you to help us give the American people one level of safety for all passengers.
The bottom line is that the American people have entrusted us with responsibility to safely get them to their destinations.
We will do this because of your talent, commitment, and training.
And now, I’d like to hand it over to Deputy Secretary John Porcari.