New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
Oversight of School Bus Drivers: Is There Enough?
Posted on Aug 29, 2017 in Bus Accidents
Parents put their children on school buses with the expectation that the bus driver has been carefully vetted and is an appropriate person to be transporting their children. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily true. As CBS News explains, there is a “stunning lack of oversight” when it comes to school bus drivers. The fact that there are insufficient protections in place to make sure school bus drivers are safe on the roads puts children at risk.
When a child is hurt in a school bus accident, the case could be a complicated one – especially if the bus is run by the school district and the bus driver is considered to be an employee of a government agency. Rules called sovereign immunity rules make it more difficult to sue government workers and government agencies, so it becomes vital for victims hurt by a bus accident to consult with New York City motor vehicle accident attorneys.
It is not just school bus riding children, but also other motorists on the road who are endangered by bad bus drivers as well, so any person who is hurt by a school bus accident should reach out to a lawyer for help understanding their rights and making a claim for compensation.
School Bus Drivers are Subject to Minimal Oversight
According to CBS News, around 60 school bus drivers become involved in auto accidents every single day. This means that there are approximately 22,000 bus crashes per year. These bus crashes cause injury to thousands of students.
There are a substantial number of accidents, in part, because bus drivers are not receiving the supervision or screening necessary to make sure that they are safe people to be transporting kids around.
In fact, a school bus driver is arrested at least once per week, on average, for offenses like driving under the influence of alcohol or for other offenses. Some of these other offenses – including sexually assaulting children and offenses related to the possession of child pornography – suggest that the lack of oversight of bus drivers could put kids at risk of many other sources of harm in addition to auto accidents.
The lack of oversight has very serious consequences for many young people and families. One couple in New York told CBS News of the violation of their 15-year-old special needs daughter, which left the young girl traumatized. The driver who committed the crimes against the young girl had been arrested a year prior to the incident on suspicion of child abuse but he was still permitted to continue transporting children to and from school.
Parents need to be aware that drivers aren’t necessarily safe drivers and that drivers are not necessarily safe people to trust their children around. New York City motor vehicle accident attorneys can provide help to parents and families in situations where a bus driver causes an auto accident or otherwise causes injury to children. Contact an attorney for assistance as soon as possible for help if your child is hurt.