NTSB, Other Transportation Agencies Hobbled by Partial Government Shutdown

Nicole Schlosser
Posted on January 25, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Transportation across the U.S. has felt the sting of the partial government shutdown, the main impact being investigations into accidents — including a recent school bus crash — being placed on hold.

As the shutdown stretches beyond 30 days, CNN reported on Wednesday that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been unable to investigate 87 accidents. Among them is a crash between a school bus and a tractor-trailer in New Jersey that injured 14 students on Jan. 7.

Dolline Hatchett, a spokeswoman for the NTSB, told CNN that the agency is “missing prevention opportunities,” and that important evidence that would normally be examined after an accident and used to support safety recommendations to prevent future accidents is being lost.

As of Jan. 16, CNN reported, the NTSB has 397 total employees, and 365 people are furloughed.
In addition, other federal agencies are operating at limited capacity that impact school transportation are the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Transportation Security Administration.

The shutdown has also impacted motorcoach operators, many of which provide student transportation. On Thursday, Peter Pantuso, the president and CEO of the American Bus Association (ABA), which represents more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company operators, released a statement on the continuation of the government shutdown following Congress’ failure to pass legislation that would reopen the federal government.

“Another opportunity was missed today when Congress failed to pass legislation through both chambers to reopen the federal government and bring an end to the longest and costliest shutdown in our nation’s history,” Pantuso said in the statement. “ABA is currently hosting the largest gathering of domestic group tour and travel professionals at its annual trade show in Louisville, Ky. One unexpected theme of this year’s show is surviving the hardships caused by this continued government shutdown.”
“The American Bus Association again calls on Congress and the Administration to come together and end this needless shutdown immediately,” Pantuso added. “With each passing day, this situation grows more dire.”

Read the full statement in Metro Magazine, School Bus Fleet’s sister publication.

Related Topics: NTSB

Nicole Schlosser Executive Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
John Polli, president and CEO of Reliance Student Transportation, says the company values efficient employee training and driver recruitment.

School Bus Contractor Driven to Boost Safety, Training

From purchasing and operating one school bus company to later establishing another from the ground up, Reliance Student Transportation President and CEO John Polli has proven his dedication and commitment to the school bus industry.


VIDEO: Tennessee Students Raise Awareness of Illegal School Bus Passing

Loudon County Schools students raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving by sharing some of the common excuses motorists tell police when they pass a stopped school bus. (The video concept was inspired by another PSA posted in 2017 by students in Northampton, Massachusetts.)


School Bus Songs: ‘Respect the Ride’

As Minneapolis (Minn.) Public Schools prepares to roll out a new school bus safety curriculum by next fall, students from Franklin Middle School want you to know a few simple rules for staying safe on the bus.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!