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Published: Monday, 6/13/2011

Federal official asks for authority to randomly inspect tour buses to catch rogue operators


WASHINGTON — Federal officials are asking Congress to give them authority to randomly pull over tour buses on the highway in an effort to catch rogue carriers who use a variety of schemes to evade safety enforcement.

Anne Ferro, who heads the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, told a House panel on Monday that her agency is forbidden from making such checks now.

Government and industry witnesses said it's difficult for the government to even inspect some carriers who have no fixed base of operation.

A Texas safety official said that sometimes his only means of finding rogue operators is to look for the fliers they distribute giving pick-up and drop-off locations.

At least 23 passengers have been killed and over 100 injured in bus crashes so far this year.

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