In recent years, the United States has seen more and more people using buses as a means of transportation. Many agree that the growth in the national bus industry requires change to current bus safety regulations and rules. Indeed, the recent occurrence of a tragic tour bus crash highlights the problems with existing safety standards.
Twelve people were fatally injured in a bus crash in California recently. They were traveling from a casino and seat belts were not legally required on the vehicle. Casinos have become even more popular in the U.S. and buses are often the preferred, most cost-effective way to get there. Safety experts suggested that seat belts be required on buses over thirty years ago and yet to this day, they still are not. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recognizes the serious gaps in safety regulations.
The former chairman of the NTSB, Jim Hall, expressed his concerns surrounding the California incident. He noted that passengers on buses might often be part of a lower income group. Because they are poorer, fewer people in government are paying attention to this safety issue. That has to change. Bus riders, pedestrians and other drivers on the road need adequate, comprehensive safety measures.
The low cost of bus travel does not get rid of the serious need for protective measures to insure the safety of all passengers. There are thousands of buses on roads and highways throughout the U.S. and none of them are required to have seat belts. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees the safety of ground transportation. Multiple safety reviews have been conducted and yet, according to the U.S. Transportation Department, no major safety problems have been found.
Bus crashes involving injuries and fatalities are not nearly as uncommon as one may expect, especially with the claim that there are no major safety problems. More than forty bus passengers were killed in bus accidents alone in 2014. Over two hundred more were killed when the vehicles they were driving in were involved in bus accidents. Some of these fatalities included pedestrians who were hit by buses.
Even school buses that transport children are not required to have seat belts. There was a fatal bus crash in November of last year that took the lives of six children. There is clearly a serious, growing need for an increase in federal safety rules and regulations for bus transportation, for adults and children alike. Seat belts are known to save lives, and can only help to protect men, women and children from bus-related accidents and fatalities.
Buses are generally a safe method of transportation. Unfortunately, accidents can still occur. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, Galfand Berger can help. We are Philadelphia bus injury lawyers who know how to investigate bus accidents. Contact us today to set up a free consultation and get started with your claim. Please call 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, Reading and Bethlehem.