Over the past year, there were many tragic bus accidents in New York. These accidents are often very serious and cause numerous fatalities. In one recent tour accident, 15 people died after the bus driver swerved to avoid a tractor-trailer and ran into a pole which cut through the bus. No one left the bus unharmed.
This and other bus-related motor vehicle accidents have led officials to implement a more stringent inspection policy. Governor Cuomo and the Legislature have dedicated $1 million in funding to increase enforcement of safety policies which will include roadside inspections.
Changes to the Inspection Program
Currently, the New York Bus Inspection Program requires an inspection of each bus every six months. The New York State Department of Transportation conducts these inspections and all school buses, charter buses and tour buses must be inspected as part of program. Due to a lack of funds, the inspections are not conducted as frequently as the DOT believes is necessary to maintain safety on New York roads.
The additional funds will provide up to 7,000 additional roadside inspections each year. Inspectors will also have the ability to more closely monitor those companies who have had safety violations. For bus companies with poor safety track records, extra unannounced inspections will take place in addition to the mandatory inspections
Enforcement Is Key to Safety Improvements
During the spring of 2011, 197 tickets were issued during surprise roadside inspections, and nearly 200 bus drivers and more than 140 buses were taken off the New York and Hudson Valley roadways. As more unsafe drivers and buses are removed from New York roads, more motor vehicle drivers and passengers who depend on school buses, tour buses or public transit will ultimately be safer.
Even with increased safety inspections, accidents can still happen. If you or a loved one is injured due to the negligence of a bus driver or bus company, it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced New York auto accident lawyer to protect your legal rights and pursue all available remedies.