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Bus Lines Fail to Follow the Rules — with Limited Consequences

The New York Times indicates that there was a tragic accident in Queens recently which left a bus driver dead, along with a pedestrian and the passenger on a city bus. The company whose bus was the cause of the accident reportedly had a “checkered” past, including involvement in two prior fatal accidents over the course of the past 14 years. Yet, it was still operational. The bus company involved in this crash is reportedly one of several that the New York Times indicates is operating in New York, despite a history of safety violations.  Nationwide, there are an estimated 3,200 touring companies spread across the United States and these companies do around $5 billion per year in private business — and policing these companies is difficult, especially as federal laws preempt state laws so states that try to enact tough regulations on bus safety may be unable to do so. The inadequate regulations surrounding bus companies can have major consequences, as the recent devastating accident in Queens showed.  Unfortunately, another of the bus companies currently operating in the New York City area may have an even worse past than the company involved in the recent crash. This other bus company has such a poor safety record that community leaders in Chinatown have pleaded with city leaders to shut the company down for good because the company has an “ongoing disregard for the law,” and has accumulated 210 safety violations in just the past two years alone. The bus company in New York that Chinatown officials have been trying to shut down, which is called Yep Tour, has ranked within the bottom 10 percent of all of the bus companies in the United States for each of the past three years, according to the Times.  Yet, despite its long history of violations and despite the fact it owes more than $300,000 in fines, the company has essentially continued operations untouched. The New York City sheriff’s office did seize three of the buses belonging to the company early in the year; however,  New York subsequently issued a permit to that same company to create a designated pickup spot for bus passengers. Obviously, with the city providing permits despite the record of violations, there is clearly not enough being done to help protect accident victims.  If accidents do happen, New York City bus accident attorneys should be consulted to provide assistance to victims and their families in pursuing claims against both the drivers who were to blame and the companies who appointed those drivers.


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