SEATTLE -- The owners of the 'Ride the Ducks' voluntarily removed their entire fleet of amphibious vehicles from the road for now.
The company’s owner said safety is their number one priority but some wonder if they should be pulled off the road for good.
Marvin Colgin, a citizen activist, believes the ducks are built like tanks and they are not designed to be used on city streets.
In Thursday's accident, a duck vehicle tore through a charter bus as if it were made with tissue paper while the body of the duck boat showed much less damage.
“I can’t see how they are safe,” said Colgin. “They’re large vehicle, there’s no seatbelts on them. They were made for wartime.”
Colgin believes the tour boats pose more danger than almost any other vehicle on the road. He runs a website that calls for the business to close.
Colgin said driving next to one of the vehicles makes him nervous.
“I think anybody that has done it is going to find themselves in the shadow of a very large vehicle that’s unlike anything else on the road,” he said. “It’s like a tank.”
Ride the Ducks pulled all of their boats out of service after the crash. The company closed their doors, and the mayor of Seattle said the city should reevaluate if the tours should continue.
“There are safety questions that we’ve got to answer,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “I don’t know the answer to it but I know it’s a serious question that now exists and we need to figure out that answer.”
Duck No. 6, the boat that lost control on the Aurora Bridge and slammed into the charter bus, passed an inspection from the U.S. Coast Guard in March. But that was just for its boating capability, not its on-the-road status.
The entire fleet was scheduled for required state inspections in October.
In a 2012 report from the state Utilities and Transportation Commission, the inspector said the company is “very safety oriented and has retrofitted all vessels with up to date vehicle components."
Brian Tracey, owner of the tour company, said his boats are safe and inspected daily.
“Safety is our number 1 concern,” he said. “You can imagine how devastating it is that something like this happened.”
But Colgin believes the boats are just too dangerous to stay on the road.
“I think we need to look at the impact at what the duck boats do and ride the ducks and evaluate if they deserve or should be in the city,” Colgin said.
A spokesman for Ride the Ducks said their mechanics and captains follow a rigorous check point each day before the vehicles take to the streets and waterways.
Now it’s up to the National Transportation Safety Board to determine what exactly went wrong.