When people in New York City step onto a bus, they assume they will arrive at their destination safely. However, a number of bus accidents in recent years have shown that many bus operators are cutting corners and putting passengers in danger.
Just two weeks ago we wrote about a bus accident that occurred in the Bronx in which 15 people were killed. The bus driver was charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
That accident and others prompted federal officials to launch an investigation into the motor coach industry. Recently, 26 bus companies were shut down after it was determined they were "imminent hazards to public safety."
Three main companies were shut down including Apex Bus Inc. and I-95 Coach Inc., both of which are based in New York. New Century Travel Inc., a Philadelphia-based company, was also shut down. Those companies oversee a number of different bus operators, many of which transport passengers along Interstate 95 from New York to Florida. Most of the routes begin or end in Chinatown.
Federal investigators found that the bus companies did not regularly inspect their buses and allowed driver's to transport passengers even when they did not have a valid commercial driver's license.
"These aggressive enforcement actions against unsafe bus companies send a clear signal: If you put passengers' safety at risk, we will shut you down," U.S. Transportation secretary Ray LaHood said.
Bus accidents are very serious. As evidenced by recent accidents, people can be left with devastating injuries. Sadly, many people do not survive bus accidents.
Although shutting down companies who violate safety regulations is certainly a positive step, other bus accidents may happen in the future. When people are injured in a bus accident they have legal options to consider. Pursuing a personal injury claim may be appropriate in those situations.
Source: CBS New York, "Feds: 26 Unsafe Bus Companies From NY, Other States Shut Down For Safety Violations," May 31, 2012