Bus accident follow-up takes buses, drivers off the road

Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Mar 28, 2011 in Wrongful Death

Tour bus companies and drivers in Charleston and throughout West Virginia are most likely paying close attention to the fallout from the fatal accident we talked about in our last few posts. The crash certainly caught the attention of government authorities of the passengers' home state. Concerned about the safety issues that came to light, and appalled by the carnage at the crash site, authorities ordered a sting operation that proved all too successful.

Authorities from both the state and the city pulled over 14 buses at a single stop in Manhattan and ordered all of them off the road. A state official reported that there were issues with both the drivers and the buses.

The issues with the drivers confirmed some safety advocates' criticisms of tour bus regulations. Nine drivers were found without updated logbooks. As for the vehicles, investigators reported 10 major issues and 40 minor infractions.

Police said eight of the buses were towed away, and the rest were driven away by qualified drivers. Officers added that they had issued 54 criminal summonses.

In addition to the roadside sting operations, the state's motor vehicles department uncovered two bus drivers who had unlawfully obtained a commercial driver's license. A passenger bus driver and a school bus driver were charged for using aliases to obtain new licenses after their previous licenses had been suspended.

The school bus driver's employer stated the man has had a spotless record during his 11-year tenure with the company. The state Department of Education had re-certified him every year to drive the school bus.

The DMV, though, found that the driver had another license under a different name. And that license had been suspended in December 2005.

Law enforcement from the state and the Bronx district attorney's office are still investigating the cause of the March 12 crash. At least one news outlet reported that the driver involved in that accident had used aliases, and that his driving privileges had been suspended under those other names.


Reuters, "Arrests made for bogus drivers' licenses in NY bus crackdown," 03/24/2011

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