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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-12-028
Synopsis: On March 12, 2011, about 5:38 a.m., a 1999 Prevost 56-passenger motorcoach, operated by World Wide Travel of Greater New York, headquartered in Brooklyn, was traveling southbound on Interstate 95, en route from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, to New York City, and carrying 32 passengers. While in the vicinity of mile marker 3.2, the motorcoach departed from the travel lanes to the right, driving over the rumble strips on the right shoulder edge. The motorcoach then crossed over the 10-foot-wide paved shoulder and struck a strong-post W-beam guardrail, traveling about 480 feet alongside and on the guardrail, before finally overturning 90° onto its right side and flattening the guardrail. The front of the vehicle subsequently collided with a vertical highway signpost consisting of two vertical 8-inch-diameter steel tubular poles linked by cross-beam diagonal metal supports. The front roof also collided with a steel electrical box mounted to the sign support structure. After the motorcoach struck the support structure and electrical box, the two poles entered the passenger compartment along the base of the passenger windows as the vehicle slid forward. The impact resulted in the roof panel being torn from the bus body for almost the entire length of the bus. As a result of this accident, 15 passengers were killed, 17 passengers received serious-to-minor injuries, and the bus driver received minor injuries.
Recommendation: TO THE AMERICAN BUS ASSOCIATION, THE NATIONAL MOTORCOACH NETWORK, AND THE UNITED MOTORCOACH ASSOCIATION: Alert your members to (1) the circumstances of this accident, (2) the existence of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Safety Management Cycle, and (3) how the safety management process can positively influence carrier safety.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Await Response
Mode: Highway
Location: New York City, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: HWY11MH005
Accident Reports: Motorcoach Run-Off-the-Road and Collision With Vertical Highway Signpost, Interstate 95 Southbound
Report #: HAR-12-01
Accident Date: 3/12/2011
Issue Date: 7/12/2012
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Bus Association (Open - Await Response)
National Motorcoach Network, Inc. (Open - Await Response)
United Motorcoach Association (Closed - Acceptable Action)

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: American Bus Association
Date: 11/21/2013
Response: Because we have never received a response from the ABA regarding this recommendation, it has been classified OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE since its issuance. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. Therefore, please inform us about the status of the ABA’s actions to implement Safety Recommendations H 06 29, H 07 12 through 14, H 09 9, H 12 28, and H 12 67.

From: NTSB
To: National Motorcoach Network, Inc.
Date: 7/12/2012
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent Federal agency charged by Congress with investigating transportation accidents, determining their probable cause, and making recommendations to prevent similar accidents from occurring. We are providing the following information to urge your organization to take action on the safety recommendation in this letter, which is discussed more fully in the enclosed report of the investigation.1 On June 5, 2012, the NTSB adopted its report concerning a March 12, 2011, accident, in which a motorcoach departed the roadway and collided with a vertical highway signpost, resulting in 15 fatalities and 18 injuries. As a result of this investigation, the NTSB reiterated previously issued Safety RecommendationsH-09-15 and -16, H-10-9, and H-08-13 to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and H-99-47 and -48 to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In addition, the NTSB issued 16new recommendations, including 7to the FMCSA;3to NHTSA; 2to the Federal Highway Administration; 3to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; and the following recommendation to your organization, the American Bus Association, and the United Motorcoach Association: H-12-28 Alert your members to (1) the circumstances of this accident, (2) the existence of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Safety Management Cycle, and (3) how the safety management process can positively influence carrier safety. This recommendation is derived from the NTSB’s investigation and is consistent with the evidence we found and the analysis we performed. Chairman HERSMAN, Vice Chairman HART, and Members SUMWALT, ROSEKIND, and WEENER concurred in this recommendation. The NTSB is vitally interested in this recommendation because it is designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate receiving a response from you within 90days addressing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement this recommendation. When responding, please refer to Safety Recommendation H-12-28. We encourage you to submit updates electronically to If your response includes attachments that exceed 5megabytes, please e-mail us at the same address for instructions. To avoid confusion, please do not submit both an electronic copy and a hard copy of the same response.

From: NTSB
To: United Motorcoach Association
Date: 2/11/2013
Response: This recommendation was classified “Closed—Acceptable Action” on November 6, 2012, because you had published an August 1, 2012, article in Bus and Motorcoach NEWS that satisfied the recommendation. We note that you published another article regarding the Safety Management Cycle on October 1, 2012, and we appreciate the UMA’s ongoing support and efforts to inform your membership of the findings of our accident investigations. Safety Recommendation H-12-28 remains classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: NTSB
To: United Motorcoach Association
Date: 11/6/2012
Response: The NTSB is pleased to learn that, on August 1, 2012, the UMA published an article in its bi-weekly newspaper, Bus and Motorcoach NEWS, to alert its members to the circumstances of this accident and to the availability of tools they can use to prevent a similar accident from happening in the future. This action satisfies Safety Recommendation H-12-28, which is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: United Motorcoach Association
Date: 10/2/2012
Response: -From Victor S. Parra, President and CEO: At the request of Julie Perrot, I am sending you back issues of Bus and Motorcoach NEWS which contained your open recommendations. Please let me know if you have any questions. As always, we appreciate the great work you and the Board do to promote safety on our Nation's highways.

From: United Motorcoach Association
Date: 7/23/2012
Response: -From Victor S. Parra, President and Chief Executive Officer, United Motorcoach Association: The below link will take you to latest edition of Bus and Motorcoach NEWS. As per your request, you will find an article on page 4 of this issue which details NTSB’s recommendations which emanated from your agency’s investigation of an accident on March 12, 2011 involving a bus owned by World Wide Tours. The newspaper is sent to over 3,000 bus operator and industry suppliers, including all members of the United Motorcoach Association (UMA). Please let me know if you have any questions. Article follows: Fatal crash produces slew of safety recommendations: WASHINGTON — The National Transportation Safety Board has formally communicated — to three federal regulatory agencies and four trade groups — the 16 safety recommendations it developed as a result of its investigation of the worst fatal bus crash of 2011. Nearly half of the recommendations went to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which enforces over-the-road bus and truck safety regulations. Another three went to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, including a recommendation the agency investigate advanced speed-limiting technology for large commercial vehicles and eventually require that over-the- road trucks and buses be equipped with such devices. The crash, and subsequent investigation, that prompted the recommendations occurred in the early morning hours of March 12, 2011. A coach operated by World Wide Tours of Greater New York rolled over on Interstate 95 in New York City. As it slid on its side, it slammed into a sign post that sheered off most of its roof, killing 15 passengers and injuring 18 others, 7 severely. The NTSB concluded the driver, Ophadell Williams, was “severely fatigued” when he lost control of the coach and that was the probable cause of the incident. Williams also was speeding. The coach was traveling at 64 miles per hour, in a posted 50 mph zone, when it left the traffic lanes and began the crash sequence. Forty-f ive seconds before the crash the coach had been traveling at 78 miles per hour, its maximum governed speed. The investigation found that Williams did not apply the brakes in the 60 seconds before leaving the travel lanes and striking the guardrail. Here are the six recommendations that went to the FMCSA: • Develop and disseminate guidance for motor carriers on how to most effectively use currently available onboard (driver) monitoring systems and develop a plan to periodically update the guidance. • Upon completion of field operational tests for onboard monitoring systems, determine whether test results indicate that such systems would reduce accidents or injuries, and, if so, require commercial motor carriers to use these systems to improve driver safety. • Revise federal regulations to require that states retain on the Commercial Driver’s License Information System driver record all convictions, disqualifications, and other licensing actions for violations during the prior 10 years. • Include Safety Measurement System rating scores in the methodology used to determine a carrier’s fitness to operate in the safety fitness rating rulemaking for the new Compliance, Safety, Accountability initiative. • Include in the safety fitness rating rulemaking for the new Compliance, Safety, Accountability initiative a structured process, such as the Safety Management Cycle, to be used by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration investigators and their state Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program agents, as an audit tool for investigators to (1) identify the root cause of safety risks found during compliance reviews, and (2) deliver constructive guidance to motor carriers to ensure the promotion of safety management. • Include information regarding the Safety Management Cycle in your Safety is Good Business motor carrier website. The NTSB is enamored with the idea of requiring over-the-road buses and trucks have speed limiters that react to posted speed limits. Such advanced speed limiters either use vehicle location data matched to a database of posted speed limits, or the devices actually read speed limit signs. NTSB also had one safety recommendation for the United Motorcoach and American Bus associations, and National Motorcoach Network. It said UMA, ABA and NMN should alert their members to the circumstances of the March 2011 crash, the existence of the FMCSA’s Safety Management Cycle, and how the safety management process can positively influence carrier safety. NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said her board was “vitally interested” in the recommendation to bus industry trade groups “because it is designed to prevent accidents and save lives.” A synopsis of the NTSB report, including the probable cause, findings and a complete list of the safety recommendations, is available at