Motorcoach Safety Still Needs Improvement Following New York Bus Crash

The terrible bus accident in New York City should have been a wakeup call to improve bus safety. The crash on I-95 in the Bronx in mid-March killed 15 people and injured many more as the bus struck a pole that shredded its roof.

Congress initially seemed ready to respond with legislation to require motor coaches to install seat belts to protect passengers in rollover accidents. Other proposals included increased regulatory scrutiny of bus companies and drivers with safety problems on their records.

Unfortunately, as with previous attempts to improve bus safety, proposals are easy to make but not as easy to make happen. The problem is the lack of effective action.

Bus Accidents Continue to Occur

Meanwhile, bus accidents continue to occur. Indeed, just two days after the New York City crash, a fatal bus crash killed two people on the New Jersey Turnpike.

In June, a tour bus en route to Queens collided with a tractor-trailer on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The bus driver was killed and dozens of passengers were injured.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike was also the site of another bus accident in August, when a Greyhound bus traveling from New York City to St. Louis went off the road. The driver lost control and the bus ended up on an embankment. Fourteen people were injured and had to be taken to hospitals.

This wasn't the only bus accident in August, either. A charter bus going from upstate New York to Trenton, New Jersey, flipped over on I-90 on August 3. Thirty people were injured.

In short, there has been a series of bus accidents this year, with many of them in the Northeast. Most of the buses involved have been owned and operated by smaller bus companies and chartered tour bus companies, not major commercial carriers.

The injuries and deaths add up, however, even for smaller operators. A respected safety organization, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, calculates that at least 30 people have already been killed this year in bus accidents. Over 270 people have been injured, in a total of 28 crashes.

New York State's Response

To prevent bus accidents, safety oversight has to improve. In New York, state officials have so far suspended licenses for eight bus companies that offer charters or tours. This action came after state inspectors discovered repeated safety failures.

If you have been injured in a New York bus accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area. A lawyer can help you hold negligent bus companies accountable.