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U.S. bans bus company in fatal Ore. crash

Jan. 9, 2013 at 8:49 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. Transportation Department ordered a Canadian bus company whose vehicle was in a fatal crash in Oregon to cease operations in the United States.

In its order Tuesday, the Transportation Department said Mi Joo Tour and Travel Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia, poses an "imminent hazard to public safety" because it failed to undertake basic measures to ensure its drivers are properly rested, CNN reported.

The driver of the bus that crashed in Oregon on Dec. 30, killing nine and injuring 39, had worked 92 hours in the seven days leading up to the crash, well above the 70 hours allowed, Transportation Department officials said.

In its order, the department listed accusations against the Canadian company involving its conduct before and after the crash, including one that the company failed to administer drug and alcohol tests to the driver after the crash.

The accident happened as the bus was returning to Vancouver from Las Vegas, police said. The bus skidded on ice on Interstate 84 near Pendleton, Ore., ran through a guardrail and fell down an embankment.

CNN said a Transportation Department website advertised as an easy way for passengers to check a bus company's safety records did not provide information on Mi Joo's history of violations. However, a Freedom of Information Act request yielded inspection reports showing the company was cited for 11 violations in 2010 and eight violations in 2011.

In its order this week, the department said it found a "deterioration in your safety management controls and widespread safety violations that demonstrate a continuing and flagrant general disregard" of the rules.

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