Georgia Motorcoach Industry Concerned About Safety
Don Adams, GMOA President, and Owner, Kelly Tours, Savannah
When I saw the recent news of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shutdown of a motor coach company doing business out of Conyers, I reflected on how far our industry has come in recent years to ensure safe operations for the Georgia travelers – and yet how far we have to go.
The Georgia Motorcoach Operators Association (GMOA) is part of an industry which moves tourists and travelers throughout our state, spreading economic benefit in the process. We represent a powerful force in our state’s economy, and according to an American Bus Association study generated over $1 billion in economic impact in Georgia in 2009. Our association’s members and the Georgia businesses they support represented over 12,000 jobs in Georgia and state-level taxes paid of $115 million (which number excludes local taxes) in that year.
GMOA’s 40 Operator companies are involved in charter bus trips – taking folks to both in-state and out-of-state attractions and events (and pumping dollars into Georgia’s economy in the process) – and in intrastate transportation service to move passengers and goods over routes connecting our cities and towns as well as shuttling passengers within specific areas of our larger cities. We provide additional mobility options to Georgians in our communities.
GMOA’s over 200 Associate members represent restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions and service industry businesses which work with our Operators to bring together travelers and the sites they want to visit, or stop at on their way to these sites.
Above all, we have sought to improve our safety record as an industry, and are heavily involved in national bus organizations which support safer federal operating standards for motorcoaches, and at the state level, as well, seeking constantly to add value to our customers’ travel experience through support of strong safety and regulatory oversight by state and federal agencies charged with ensuring safe operating practices. In short, we want bad operators off the road. Period.
Before booking a charter trip, or when using motorcoaches in commuting within or outside Georgia, I encourage Georgians to use the following web-based information to check out operators in a number of safe operating measures: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/PCS/Consumers.aspx
This link to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s web site, will enable travelers to access the latest information on Georgia companies. Georgians should check safety records before they book a trip! Use this information to make an informed decision on which company to use – don’t just use price as the only standard for your decision!
GMOA supports recent moves in the General Assembly to strengthen state regulatory oversight by combining formerly-fragmented aspects of safe operations by private companies with whom travelers literally entrust with their lives. We meet periodically with the Georgia Department of Public Safety’s Motor Carrier Compliance Division, send out alerts to our members on regulatory news, and support strengthening at the Georgia-level of enforcement to get bad operators off the road.
We hope Georgians will feel confident that the GMOA works on their behalf to help ensure safe travels, but also will arm themselves with the information they need upon which to make a sound, safe decision!