Transit Bus Bang-Ups Beg Big Safety Questions
Within two weeks, two crashes involving commuter transit buses have stopped traffic on Washington roads. One accident injured six passengers when a bus driver slammed on the brakes to avoid colliding with another vehicle. The bus required evacuation, with the six victims rushed off to area hospitals. When the incidence of accidents like this goes up, so too does the concern for safety on transit buses, especially in Washington State where this mode of transportation is becomingly increasingly necessary.
Are current regulations sufficient?
According to recent reports, federal agencies such as the National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have their hands full with bus companies and transit systems whose practices are leading to fatal bus crashes and serious injuries. Some feel that current safety issues stem from an atmosphere of lax oversight and spotty enforcement. The problems have culminated in major disasters, including recent West Coast accidents that cost 17 lives in total
A question of manpower?
Tasked with monitoring over a half a million truck and bus companies, the FMCSA’s 350 safety inspectors may be stretched too thin for this monumental task. While the agency is shutting down more bus companies than ever, operators with unsatisfactory safety ratings continue to operate, maiming and killing passengers in bus accidents.
Pedestrians also at risk
The latest Washington bus crash fatality reminds us that passengers are not the only individuals at risk. This accident claimed the life of a pedestrian who was struck by a Metro bus as he crossed a Seattle street. As this case demonstrates, bus safety is an issue that touches those who may never even step foot on a bus.
When bus crashes cause serious injuries, skilled legal counsel with expertise in transit accidents is crucial. Contact Mark A. Hammer & Associates for a consultation.