New York City accident and personal injury attorney David Resnick said today that recent tour bus crashes and follow up inspections by the state that found numerous safety violations indicates the dire need for new regulations in the industry.
Resnick referred to a bus carrying 32 passengers from Connecticut that crashed and killed 15 passengers on March 12 at the border of the Bronx and Westchester County. Just days later, on March 14, another bus traveling from New York City to Philadelphia crashed in New Jersey, killing the driver and a passenger.
“People who hire or simply board a bus have the right to be confident that they are not taking an undue risk just because they are getting on that bus,” said Resnick, of David Resnick & Associates, P.C. a New York City personal injury law firm. “Those who stand to profit cannot be counted on to self-police.”
Peter Pantuso, president of the American Bus Association, a trade group that includes Greyhound and dozens of smaller carriers, said his industry was “somewhat self-policing” in a New York Times report about the accidents and follow-up calls for regulation.
Between March 18-20, at three Department of Transportation checkpoints in Manhattan, 62 percent of the buses inspected had vehicle violations or driver violations that were significant enough to take them out-of-service, the NYSDOT said.
Inspections across the state the same weekend found 18 percent of the 138 buses inspected had vehicle and/or driver out-of-service violations, the agency report.
Resnick, whose firm has recovered millions of dollars for New York residents injured in bus and other automotive accidents, said scrutiny of discount tour bus operations is long overdue.
“The tour bus industry transports millions of people, and it has been left on its own to ensure people\’s safety for far too long,” Resnick said. “We need regulators to act now to ensure that the industry has consistent safety practices. We don\’t need to wait for additional tragedies before someone decides something should be done.
“Passengers, too, need to act,” Resnick said. “We urge bus passengers to contact authorities right away if they see a problem with their driver\’s actions or competence.”
If a passenger has been injured in a bus accident, they need to protect your rights, he said.
“Bus companies and their drivers have a duty to safely transport those who hire them. If a tour bus operator\’s failure to live up to this duty results in a passenger\’s injury or the death of a loved one, they need a professional, experienced advocate on their side,” Resnick said.
“At David Resnick & Associates, we are proud to bring our many years of experience to the aid of injured New Yorkers.”