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Who Is Driving Your Bus?

In September, we covered a tragic crash between an MTA bus and chartered tour bus that resulted in three deaths and 15 injuries in Queens. At the time we wrote: 

"The collision is currently under investigation...however, from initial reports, it appears that negligent driving was a likely cause."

Now we know that not only does negligence appear to be the cause, but the driver of the chartered tour bus has a checkered history. 

According to reporting by The New York Times, the driver of the charter bus in that fatal crash was previously fired by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) in 2015. 

His termination occurred after an incident where he slammed his car into two other cars on Interstate 95 in New Haven, Connecticut. After the crash occurred, he fled the scene. He received a suspended jail sentence and 18 months of probation for driving under the influence and evading arrest. 

Kudos to MTA for taking a stand for public safety and firing this driver. But this leads us to question: how on earth could any transportation service hire an individual with such a recent incident on his or her record? Employing such a negligent driver is asking for trouble. 

How Can You Trust Your Bus Driver? 

It's good to know that MTA is holding drivers accountable for their actions behind the wheel, both on and off-the-clock. However, can you be assured of your safety on charter buses, tour buses, and other privately arranged transportation? 

Drivers must be licensed in order to operate buses for MTA or any entity, but not every act of negligence results in a driver's license being suspended. In the incident we highlight in this post, the driver was fired after driving under the influence and evading arrest. An arrest for driving under the influence will result in a suspended driver's license, leaving the driver unable to legally operate a bus. 

Incidents such as car accidents not involving alcohol will usually not result in the suspension of a license unless they involve reckless driving. 

The bottom line is that there is a big difference between your bus driver being licensed to drive and being a safe driver. That's why it's so important to understand your right as a passenger or as a motorist if you are involved in an accident with a bus. 

You Have The Right To Be Compensated If You Are Injured In A Bus Crash

Regardless of whether the responsible party is the MTA, a private tour company, or an individual driver, you can rely on our attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy to provide you with the representation you deserve after an accident. 

We have recovered numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of bus injury victims in New York City and surrounding area. If you or someone you care about has been injured or killed in a bus crash, call 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form today to arrange your free legal consultation.