Highway Accident Report

Adopted May 27, 1987
SEPTEMBER 29, 1986

NTSB Number: HAR-87/03
NTIS Number: PB87-916205


On September 29, 1986, a Leatherwood Motor Coach Corporation charter bus carrying 38 passengers was traveling northbound on 1-295, a four-lane divided highway near Camey's Point, New Jersey en route to Atlantic City, New Jersey. After passing three tractor-semitrailers in the left lane, the bus moved into the right lane and struck the rear of another slower moving tractor-semtrailer. The two vehicles continued forward and traveled northbound about 432 feet before coming to a stop. Two bus passengers were seriously injured, 5 bus passengers were moderately injured and the busdriver and 31 bus passengers received minor Injuries. The truckdriver was not injured.

This report discusses several safety issues, including the inadequacies of the background investigations of commercial driver applicants by motor carriers and problems with the adequacy of the systems available for the exchange of data on driver accident and violation records.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the busdriver's inattention to his driving task and his misjudgment of the closing speed between the bus and the truck In front of him. Contributing to the accident was the motor carrier's failure to adequately screen the busdriver's qualifications and background. Contributing to the severity of injuries was the high speed of the bus.

The report concludes that more thorough background investigations should be conducted by motor carriers. The Safety Board issued a recommendation to the Federal Highway Administration to conduct a safety review of Leatherwood Motor Coach Corporation to ensure compliance with the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Regulations. The Safety Board also issued recommendations to the Leatherwood Motor Coach Corporation, the United Bus Owners Association, and the American Bus Association to conduct adequate pre-employment screening on all busdriver applicants.


As a result of its investigation of this accident, the National Transportation Safety Board made the following recommendations:

-to the Federal Highway Administration:

Conduct a safety review(s) of the Leatherwood Motor Coach Corporation with specific emphasis on checking the employment history and driver license records of Its bus operators to determine if the company Is in compliance with applicable Federal regulations. (Class 11, Priority Action) (H-87-39)

-to the Leatherwood Motor Coach Corporation:

Implement the necessary procedures for gathering Information on driver applicants concerning their employment history and driving license records in a timely fashion. (Class II, Priority Action) (H-87-40)

-to the United Bus Owners of America and the American Bus Association:

Inform your membership of the circumstances of the accident near Carney's Point, New Jersey on September 29, 1986, and urge them to conduct thorough preemployment checks on all driver applicants, particularly concerning drivers' employment history and driver license records. (Class II, Priority Action) (H-87-41)