Fatal Bus Accidents in Kansas
The Transportation Division of the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) has the authority to issue licenses for motor carriers in the state. They are also responsible for conducting inspections to ensure that buses conform to federal and state regulations.
In the last two years, these measures have seen a decrease in the number of bus accidents and resultant injuries. A comparison with national statistics shows that Kansas fares fairly well regarding fatalities from these crashes.
The following data is supplied by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Kansas Department of Transportation:
|Year||Total Bus Crashes||Fatalities||Injuries|
Although there were a high number of bus accidents in 2015, they did not result in any fatalities. However, 43 people were injured in those crashes. The number of crashes and injuries dropped in 2016 but did cause one death.
The statistics for 2017 are only for the first quarter, up to the end of March. These show a relatively low number of injuries from bus crashes. Based on these statistics, the projection is that the number of crashes and injuries will decrease from 2016.
In terms of fatalities, Kansas fares well in comparison with national statistics. In 2015 there were 326 deaths from bus accidents, 297 in 2016 and for the first quarter of 2017, there were 74 fatalities throughout the United States.
Kansas Bus Safety Laws and Regulations
The KCC is empowered under state law as the regulating agency for bus travel in Kansas. Together with the Kansas Highway Patrol, their Motor Carrier Inspectors perform regular roadside and weigh station checks to enforce federal and state motor carrier regulations. The KCC’s primary mission in this regard is to ensure the safety of all Kansas residents.
Kansas statutes and FMCSA regulations cover many aspects to ensure the safe operation of both intrastate and interstate buses. These include the hours that a driver may work, age restrictions and requirements for medical examinations. These regulations generally apply to any vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of over 10,000 pounds.
Under state laws, all accidents must be reported to the Commission. Drivers of motor carriers within the state must be at least eighteen years of age. The KCC enforces regulations for commercial buses as well as those used for vanpooling.
Any bus consisting of a driver and more than 15 passengers is regulated under Kansas statutes. The KCC has the authority to regulate the movement of buses used by companies to transport their employees to and from offices, factories, construction sites or any other place or work.
The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) administers both federal and state programs for the transportation of the public. These include buses for the general public as well as those required to transport the elderly and people with disabilities. Currently, there are 145 transit providers covering most of the state’s counties.