Government agencies and concerned citizens have been busy seeking increased regulation of the private bus industry since a deadly New York City gambling bus accident left 14 passengers dead in March. While the government carries out this legislative process, you'd hope that bus companies would use the deadly bus crash as a cue to examine their internal operations and improve the safety of their buses. However, several more recent private-bus accidents in New York leave many questioning the integrity of the private passenger-bus industry.
Days ago, a passenger bus was en route to New York City when it crashed in Virginia, tragically killing 4 and leaving 54 with serious injuries. The bus driver was arrested for reckless driving, and was allegedly battling driver fatigue. The bus company, SkyExpress, was immediately ordered to suspend operations by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). SkyExpress has a New York City office in Chinatown.
Just weeks ago, a NYC-bound bus operated by Carl. R Bieber Tourways was involved in an accident on I-495 near the Lincoln Tunnel. Initial investigations show that a SUV veered into the path of the commuter bus, suggesting that the bus driver was not at fault in the accident. However, five people were injured and an increase in onboard safety may have reduced both the number and severity of injuries from the crash.
These recent bus crashes demonstrate the overall shortcomings of the private bus industry. As common carriers, bus companies have the utmost duty of care for their passengers' safety. It is apparent that many of these low-fare discount bus companies are compromising safety measures to save a few dollars and undersell the competition, but we've seen that the cost is far too great.
If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a bus accident, promptly consult a personal injury attorney. A full investigation into the crash and the potentially responsible parties should be done quickly to ensure obtaining the full recovery permitted by NY law.
Sources: NewYork.CBSlocal.com, "NY Lawmakers Calling for Better Regulation After Deadly Bus Crash Kills 4" June 1, 2011. "NorthJersey.com, "At least five hurt after SUV and commuter bus collide near Lincoln Tunnel" May 18, 2011.