A deadly auto accident in New York has prompted lawmakers to take a closer look at the United States tour bus industry.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will “launch a broad investigation into the entire safety regime that governs the low-cost bus industry,” lawmakers said.
According to these legislators, they made the decision after a March 12 accident in which 15 people were killed.
“March’s bus crash was a tragedy for New York, but these passengers did not have to die in vain,” said Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY. “A full and comprehensive review of this industry and the safety regulations governing it will no doubt lead to greater safety standards for the thousands of passengers who use these buses every week.”
“By ensuring NTSB thoroughly reviews how this standard is regulated, we can keep passengers safe, while restoring customers’ confidence in this type of travel,” Representative Nydia Velazquez said.
The lawmakers claim that another NTSB review has already “led to major improvements” when it comes to airline safety. The senator has also requested a review of all drivers of low-cost tour buses to make sure none of them have previous safety violations or suspended licenses. He revealed that such an audit would have shown the driver involved in the March 12 car accident “shouldn’t have been behind the wheel.”
Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, ordered an investigation into the crash. The driver had a commercial license – despite having a poor driving record and a criminal history of grand larceny and manslaughter in Staten Island and Westchester County.
The bus line itself is not new to accidents. They had a crash in 2009 that resulted in an injury, and another crash in New Jersey in 2010 that caused another injury. They have also been cited numerous times for “fatigued driving” between December 2009 and October 2010 in several states.
The driver claims he was attempting to swerve out of the way of a tractor-trailer that was going to clip the bus. The bus then fell onto its side and hit poles that cut through a large portion of the vehicle. The driver has not been charged, though his license was suspended.
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