Over a decade ago, the National Transportation Safety Board made recommendations for bus safety, but the Transportation Department did not implement them and Congress did not act either. Now that bus crashes have taken the lives of many from skiers to college baseball players to slot machine seekers — Congress is interested in safety legislation.
California bus accidents and deaths have taken a toll as well. In 2009, five people were killed and 38 injured in a tour bus accident involving mainly French nationals. In July 2010, a Greyhound bus traveling from Sacramento to LA ended up crashing with sixth deaths. These are only examples of what is becoming a common tragedy.
In fact, so many people have been killed or seriously injured in California and across the nation when a bus accident does occur, it is impossible to continue to ignore the safety issues. One basic recommendation has been around for a long time, installation of seatbelts in buses. Another recommendation includes the use of recorders that track how long a bus driver has been driving. Another still another calls for stronger roofs, windows that can be opened and more advanced glass windows that are less likely to injure passengers in an accident.
One chilling statistic is hard to ignore. Deaths occur in bus or motor coach accidents due to rollovers and most of those deaths happen because passengers are ejected.
The safety board plans to hold hearings soon on the implementation of the recommendations made so many deaths ago.
Although Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has a plan to implement the recommendations, only one has been put in place. No texting by bus or truck drivers while driving. Apparently, the Secretary is working with police in over ten states with what the AP called “surprise bus inspections.”
New driver testing standards are also in the works, as are ways to avoid testing fraud. Drivers apparently also have a lot to do with bus crashes. In fact, the NTSB says that 60 percent of deadly bus crashes relate to issues with drivers.
Although the current administration is reported to have greater enforcement than the prior one, there is much more to do to stop bus accidents and deaths. It would cost nearly $90,000 to implement new safety standards in new buses. But many believe that consumers would be willing to pay more to ride a bus they know is safer.
California injury and consumer law firm, Hersh & Hersh has represented those injured in bus and other motor vehicle accidents for decades. As a highly-respected injury and consumer firm, the lawyers of Hersh & Hersh have a dedication to clients and their families that is unsurpassed. Please contact our offices for a free consultation with one of our experienced injury trial lawyers.