Buses are great and inexpensive way to hit the road for your summer getaway, but before you buy that ticket there’s something you should know. Hank discovered a way to check up on bus companies’ safety records and when she put it to the test? Well, she found some bus companies with serious travel troubles.

Taking a summer bus trip…and you’re sure you’ve got your ticket, you’re sure you packed what you need – but are you sure your ride is safe?

Now there’s an app for that!

Hank: “Passengers might say — they wouldn’t let me get on the bus if it wasn’t safe.”

Joe Mokrisky, bus safety consultant: “Well unfortunately some people would.”

But with a couple of clicks of your smartphone – you can now check the safety scores of bus companies!

The app–called Safer Bus–is free from the US Department of Transportation and it’s got all the inspection results.

All you have to do is punch in the US DOT number that’s on the side of the bus and up comes the latest inspection history.

If you see this symbol – you may want to put the brakes on your trip.

Hank: “If it’s a yellow triangle what does that mean?”

Joe Mokrisky, Bus safety consultant: “It means their safety record is not what it should be”

On the day we took the app for a spin at Boston’s South Station–we found two bus companies with yellow triangles on their safety rating:

This one’s got a record for unsafe driving, and this one was cited for faking drivers fatigue records–that means they could be on the road too many hours–without any rest!

Joe, New York bus passenger: “Yes, it would make a difference in what bus company I used!”

When we offered travelers a look at the inspection results-well, they wished they’d seen them sooner.

Marika, New York bus passenger: “You don’t feel very comfortable if you see that!”

The app also works for limos and vans-just punch in the DOT numbers on the side. When we used it at Logan the app told us this van company didn’t have a valid license to operate!

But the van pulled out of the lot, arrived at terminal B, picked up passengers and drove away.

Hank: “Should that have been on the road?”

Joe Mokrisky, Bus safety consultant: “No.”

Hank: “Should that have been picking up passengers?”

Joe Mokrisky, Bus safety consultant: “No.”

Why are they still on the roads?

Massachusetts State Police inspect buses, limos and vans but they can’t do it every day for every vehicle.

Hank: “As a result…”

Joe Mokrisky, Bus safety consultant: “Some people slip thru the cracks.”

Hank: “And what’s the result to passengers?”

Joe Mokrisky, Bus safety consultant: “It could be a serious safety issue.”

This app gives you the power to protect yourself. And the info is updated every 30 days:http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/saferbus/saferbus.aspx

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