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School Bus Accidents Happening in Spite of Safety Rules

June 10 2020

Getting children to school safely on a bus is one of the fundamental responsibilities of school districts. However, a recent fatal accident involving a 10-year-old girl raises concerns that school bus safety is not what it could be.

According to NBC New York, Patience Albert was struck by a bus as it made a turn onto Crescent Street in East New York. The accident happened close to 6:30 am on February 25, 2020. Patience was taken to the hospital, where she later died from her injuries.

Unsafe Intersection

Many residents have long complained that the intersection was unsafe, and they shared those concerns with NBC News. According to one resident, there was a lack of traffic lights, which this resident blamed on the neighborhood’s racial composition. This is a serious charge, but the residents justifiably want answers.

The driver of the school bus, Pedro Colon, was charged with multiple infractions, including the failure to exercise due care and failure to yield to a pedestrian. We will have to see whether he is convicted of those charges. In the meantime, the bus operator, Quality Trans Corp, has suspended the driver for the pendency of the investigation.

Detailed Rules Regarding Bus Drivers

New York has very detailed rules that apply to school bus drivers. These rules cover everything from hiring and training to operator behavior. The rules are designed to make sure that our buses have competent people behind the wheel.

For example, one rule states that drivers should familiarize themselves with the Vehicle and Traffic Laws as well as regulations from the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and Commissioner of Education. The rules also require that drivers give warning before making a turn and that they should not drive faster than 55 miles per hour.

Driving without due care and failure to yield are violations of the state’s Vehicle and Traffic Laws, so this driver clearly was not following the regulations as they apply to bus drivers. Of course, all the regulations in the world cannot make someone drive with adequate care if they do not want to. For this reason, parents must always instruct their children on how to travel safely when confronting a school bus. Children should look both ways before crossing the street and should wait for a bus to stop, even if the child has the right of way.

Suing for Compensation

The city might have contracted out their bus driving duties to a private company (here Quality Trans Corp). However, districts remain responsible in most cases when these negligent drivers injure people. Failure to yield and the failure to use due care are pretty clear examples of negligence, and the family members should consider bringing a wrongful death action for the loss of their beloved child.

Contact an NYC Bus Accident Attorney to Review

If your child was injured in a bus accident, please contact Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman today. We are leading New York City bus accident lawyers who will fight for the rights of our clients. Please contact us today by calling 212-285-3300.