Feds: Crashed bus operator ranks near bottom for safety

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DENVER -- The licensed operator of a tour bus, which crashed on a foggy stretch of I-70 near Denver Friday morning, has a maintenance safety record which ranks it in the worst nine percent in the country.

That’s according to a database of inspections run by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and confirmed by a spokesperson.

This is what FMCSA’s website says about Gaines Motorcoaches LLC out of Las Vegas. “91% of motor carriers in the same safety event group have better on-road performance than this motor carrier.”

Records show, in the past two years, Gaines has received 38 violations. View the report here.

Violations Description
392.2H State/Local Hours-of-Service (HOS)
395.8 Driver's record of duty status (general/form and manner)
395.8(f)(1) Driver's record of duty status not current
395.8(k)(2) Driver failing to retain previous 7 days' logs
383.23(a)(2) Operating a CMV without a CDL
383.51A-SOUT Driving a CMV while CDL is suspended for safety-related or unknown reason and outside the driver's license state of issuance.
391.41A-P Operating a passenger-carrying vehicle without possessing a valid medical certificate.
391.49(j) No valid medical waiver in driver's possession
393.19 Inoperative/defective hazard warning lamp
393.207(a) Axle positioning parts defective/missing
393.207(e) Torsion bar cracked and/or broken
393.24(d) Improper head / auxiliary / fog lamp aiming
393.25(f) Stop lamp violations
393.43 No/improper breakaway or emergency braking (2 counts)
393.43(d) No or defective automatic trailer brake
393.45(b)(2) Failing to secure brake hose/tubing against mechanical damage
393.45(d) Brake connections with leaks/constrictions
393.60(c) Damaged or discolored windshield (2 counts)
393.62(a) No or defective bus emergency exits - Bus manufactured on or (4 counts)
393.62(e) No or inadequate bus emergency exit marking - Bus manufactured on or after 9/1/1973
393.70(d) No/improper safety chains/cables for full trailer
393.75(a) Flat tire or fabric exposed
393.75(c) Tire — other tread depth less than 2/32 of inch
393.9 Inoperative required lamps (2 counts)
393.93(a) Bus - not equipped with seatbelt
396.17(c) Operating a CMV without proof of a periodic inspection (2 counts)
396.3(a)(1) Inspection/repair and maintenance parts and accessories (3 counts)
396.5(b) Oil and/or grease leak (2 counts)


Two of the violations were considered “serious” including: “Requiring or permitting the operation of a motor vehicle declared "out-of-service" before repairs were made.”

Records show that violation from April of 2014 brought a fine of $3,490 .

Other fines and penalties records in the safety database are reflected below:

Penalties History


  • Violation: 396.9(c)(2) $3,490.00
  • Violation: 382.301(a) $1,530.00
  • Violation: 391.23(a) $1,530.00

Total $6,550


  • Violation: 396.11(a) $1,500.00
  • Violation: 382.301(a) $1,910.00

Total $3,410

FOX31 Denver investigative reporter Chris Halsne called Gaines for a comment and explanation of the federal record, but has so far not received a response.

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