Additional focus on motor carrier regulations after deadly tour bus crash

Sep 23, 2019, 2:07 PM
motor carrier regulations garfield hospital...
Bus transporting Chinese tourists crashes near Bryce Canyon. Four people were killed and 12 remain in the hospital. Photo credit: Utah Highway Patrol

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Utahns are taking a closer look at motor carrier regulations, just days after a deadly tour bus crash near Bryce Canyon National Park.

What happened

Four people died in the bus crash Friday. Officials say every person on board suffered injuries. As of Saturday night, at least five passengers remained in critical condition.

Tourists from China filled that bus; Utah tourism officials say about half of the visitors to Utah’s five national parks from China use tour buses to do so.

According to Utah Highway Patrol, the bus drifted off the right side of the road and then overcorrected, causing the bus to fishtail and rollover. They do not yet know what caused the accident.

UHP said the driver did not appear to be intoxicated.

The bus driver was reportedly making his first trip for the company, which is based in California.

Motor carrier regulations under a microscope

The Utah Department of Transportation says a new driver coming into a new state is not uncommon or illegal.

“Your operator license allows you to operate in every other state that you want to drive in,” explains Chad Sheppick, Director of the Motor Carrier Division. “They’re qualified to drive, they are allowed to cross borders.”

Much like a standard driver’s license, once drivers pass standards in a specific state, they may drive legally in other states with that same out-of-state license.

Additionally, out-of-state businesses may operate buses and other vehicles within the state of Utah, so long as they are registered in their home state.

“No additional licenses, permits or registration is required,” wrote Charlie Roberts, spokesperson for the Utah Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division.

How inspections work

For Utah specifically, officials inspect motor carriers twice daily.

Those safety inspections occur prior to when the vehicle takes off and once it arrives back at its starting point. Sheppick says officials look for a number of different things.

“Service brakes, parking brakes, steering mechanisms, lighting devices, reflectors, tires,” explained Sheppick.

He points out that if someone wishes to check out a carrier’s safety history online, they can do so. That federal website can be found here.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the company that operates the bus, America Shengjia Inc., is cooperating with the investigation.


Today’s Top Stories


Man dies at flight show during his performance in shockwave jet truck....
Waverly Golden

Man dies during performance at Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show

Battle Creek Police Department, Federal Aviation Administration Officials, and the fire department are still investigating the accident. 
2 days ago
Two people have been gored by bison at Yellowstone National Park in less than a week. An expert at ...
Mark Jones

Expert says to give bison their space and distance

An expert at Antelope Island State Park says bison need to be given their space and distance. This message comes after two people were gored by bison at Yellowstone National Park
3 days ago
A female bison and calf are seen near the Yellowstone River in Wyoming's Hayden Valley, on Wednesda...
Mark Jones

2nd visitor in 3 days gored by Yellowstone National Park bison

In less than a week, two visitors to Yellowstone National Park have been gored by bison. Park officials say to stay at least 25 yards away from a bison.
3 days ago
Travelers wait in for a TSA security check at the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles,...

Pre-pandemic sized crowds descend on US airports for holiday

TSA is reporting crowds of pre-pandemic size are traveling this Independence Day.
3 days ago
Vehicles enter Zion National Park   on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. With Independence Day set for Mond...
Mark Jones

Busy weekend expected at Zion National Park

With it being Independence Day on Monday, Zion National Park officials are expecting a busy weekend at the park and say visitors should expect long lines.
4 days ago
Rockfall along Zion-Mt Carmel Highway...
Waverly Golden

A rockfall briefly closes highway through Zion National Park

This morning a rockfall happened on the Zion-Mt Carmel Highway, it has since been cleared by maintenance crews. No injuries or damages were reported.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Additional focus on motor carrier regulations after deadly tour bus crash