WASHINGTON — Intercity bus and truck companies with a continuing history of safety problems will be easier to shut down under regulations published online Friday by the Federal Motor Carrier Administration, an agency under fire for its oversight of the industries.
The regulations would give the agency authority to put out of business operators who have been cited for repeated problems, even if their most recent inspection alone doesn’t quite meet the threshold for closure, the agency said.
The motor carrier administration was directed by Congress in a bill passed in 2012 to issue the regulations. Safety advocates have long criticized the agency for not being aggressive enough in closing unsafe truck and intercity and tour bus companies.
‘‘We’re pleased that they’re doing this, but it’s about time,’’ said Jackie Gillen, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. ‘‘It’s outrageous that some of these carriers are still on the road and (the motor carrier administration) has looked the other way. Now, hopefully, that will change.’’
In November, the National Transportation Safety Board called for an investigation of the motor carrier administration, pointing to fatal bus and truck accidents that occurred after agency inspections.
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