When most of us board a city bus, we are more concerned with having the right amount of change or finding a seat than we are about the safety record of the bus driver currently behind the wheel. That's because we simply take it as a given that the city would hire someone who not only has a clean driving record, but who also goes out of their way to practice safe driving.
Unfortunately, this is far from the truth, as there are hundreds of bus accidents here in the U.S. every year that can be directly attributed to the negligent actions of bus drivers. In fact, many passengers suffer serious personal injuries in these accidents due to the high rate of speed at which some of these buses travel and the general lack of safety restraints.
Interestingly, one major U.S. city recently embarked on a rather ambitious campaign to stop its bus drivers from committing dangerous traffic violations.
New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority recently noted that the number of accidents involving buses from its fleet reached almost 3,400 between January and July of this year, a ten percent increase from the same time last year.
Suspecting that a significant percentage of the accident increase could be attributed to actions being taken by younger and more inexperienced drivers, the agency launched an initiative to monitor driving conduct.
Specifically, the MTA dispatched undercover surveillance teams onto city buses over the last few weeks to catch drivers as they committed certain traffic violations or violations of MTA regulations.
In total, 371 drivers were cited for over 400 violations, including running red lights and using cellphones behind the wheel (two offenses which also resulted in the drivers being pulled off the road immediately).
"This is definitely enhanced enforcement," said an MTA spokesperson. "Personnel are out there and they are issuing violations to bus operators who are not operating their buses in a safe and defensive manner as they should be."
It should be interesting to see if this approach proves effective in reducing the number of bus accidents in the Big Apple.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car crash or bus accident here in Tennessee, remember to consider speaking with a dedicated legal professional to learn more about how you can pursue justice.
Source: NBC New York, "Hundreds of MTA bus drivers cited for phone use, traffic violations in latest crackdown," October 2, 2013