UPDATE: One third of inspected New York buses pulled from service
New York state officials decided to launch a string of bus safety inspections that began in late September as discussed in a prior post. The inspections came in response to the call for action after a fatal bus accident killed 15 people.
The fatal bus accident occurred in March of 2011 on Interstate 95 in the Bronx. The 30 passengers were nearing their final destination on their return from a Connecticut casino when they were awaken by a sharp twist of momentum and the frightening sound of twisting metal. The mass transit driver had lost control of the vehicle and struck a sign on the side of the highway.
The driver in that fatal accident not only had a history of moving violations but had lied on his most recent application for a commercial license. He even lied about his identity to police who pulled him over.
The shocking accident and investigation into the driver’s background prompted the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to begin the inspection period and even implement facial recognition technology into the hiring process to ensure that they catch anyone lying about their past or present identity.
The result of the inspections highlighted an even bigger safety issue with the New York mass transit system as it currently stands. Hundreds of inspections were conducted for a period of approximately two weeks from late September into the early days of October. The result of the inspections included 116 drivers and 95 buses being pulled from service.
Including the two week period, the driver or the bus were pulled from one third of all inspections since March of this year. New York officials are doing their best to help reduce the number of fatal accidents that occur on mass transit buses each year, but they cannot prevent them all. Thankfully, the law provides for compensation for victims and their families after a serious or fatal accident.
Source: Transportation Nation, “New York Conducts Long Distance Bus Inspection Crackdown,” Jim O’Grady, Oct. 26, 2011