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School Buses in General Don’t Use Seatbelts in Many States

School Buses in General Don’t Use Seatbelts in Many States

Did you ever wonder as a kid why you had to buckle up religiously when entering a car but not every day on the way to school? It’s a common question that comes with both a relatively easy and simple answer and one that’s a bit more complex. The issue is one with a long history and a number of proponents on either side of the debate.

The shorter, simpler answer is that buses don’t need them. There were high-profile bus accidents which killed students but these are in the minority. Statistically, bus accidents result in fewer fatalities per mile traveled than regular cars. In some cases, school buses actually have seat belts but the students are not required to wear them.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, or NHTSA does not require the use of seatbelts in buses weighing over five tons. While there is a requirement for smaller buses, the decision for the larger ones is left to the states. As of yet, only six states, California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Texas require some use of seat belts on large buses. In some cases, this is only on newer buses.

And Some Complicating Factors

The more complex answer is a bit longer but comes to a similar conclusion. Many parts of a school bus are intentionally designed safer for all involved. This includes larger, padded seats to avoid blunt-force trauma. The sheer weight of the vehicle also reduces the chance of serious injury.

Furthermore, these is an issue of cost. Statistically, wearing a seat belt is not nearly as likely to save a life for young people on a bus. The sheer cost of retrofitting every existing bus with seat belts would be a monumental task. Even when it comes to the safety of children, there are some costs that legislatures don’t want to take on. For the time being, seat belts won’t be worn on most school buses.

Why Did Federal Regulators Order a Bus Company to Stop Operations?

Why Did Federal Regulators Order a Bus Company to Stop Operations?

bus-side-viewWe are fierce proponents of common carriers (defined here) regulating themselves. A cost for this, a license for that. By the time you’re done, there is no money left. Unfortunately, the rising prices of gas and regulations make it hard to turn a profit. So companies cut corners to stay in business. Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has ordered a tour bus operator to cease operations immediately. But this was only after being involved in a Southern California crash.

So What About The Recent California Bus Crashes?

The accident involving Scapadas Magicas L.L.C. based in National City California (learn more), was in a collision in Southern California resulting in the deaths of eight people. Friday Federal regulators ordered the company to stop operation of its three buses stating they pose an “imminent hazard” to the public.

On February 3, 1996, (read here), the cause of the accident was questioned by investigators. But this was after the driver said the brakes failed before the bus hit a sedan that flipped over. Sadly, it hit a pickup truck east of Los Angeles in the San Bernardino Mountains. The bus was en route to Tijuana Mexico at the time of the crash. In fact, it was transporting 38 passengers and a tour guide.

What Were the Mechanical Violations?

Friday, regulators said two other buses in operation within the United States had mechanical safety violations. The inspectors found the company had failed to have regular inspections for the buses before the crash.

And the inspection of the vehicles revealed that they had multiple brake issues and numerous other violations. Also, there is no indication on what the inspections had cost. But bus companies must comply with all sorts of federal and state agency directives.

Most of all, the costs are enormous to keep all those regulatory agents employed. The order to cease operations cited during 21 of the latest 25 vehicle inspections had violations. So this equaled 36% of the fleet out of service. Transportation regulators reviewed the company compliance in January; they also identified other breakdowns. Also, the company’s safety management systems failed. They determined Scapadas Magicas failed to take action in remedying the issues.

But we have yet to hear the side of the bus company. It does appear that they cut corners. Should the government agencies streamline the regs, so bus operators can afford to comply? We hear stories of truckers using the trailer brakes and cheap retreads to cope with fuel costs and regs. Is this different?

Conclusion

People need to reconsider the causes and effects of the costs involved in complying with regulations, while at the same time, common carriers need to regulate themselves.

FedEx Big Rig Hits Charter Bus Carrying Students Head-on

FedEx Big Rig Hits Charter Bus Carrying Students Head-on

It looks like a case of clear liability. But at least one personal injury attorney at Ehline Law Firm thinks there is more to this case than meets the eyes. Attorney Michael Ehline says that a FedEx big rig truck struck a charter bus carrying Los Angeles, County school students head-on on I-5 in North California.

He says there is not enough info to pin the blame 100% on FedEx or its trucker. According to the California Highway Patrol the tour bus collided with a FedEx tractor trailer truck and a Nissan Altima on the I-5 Freeway at approximately 5:40 p.m. in the vicinity of Orland, California when the big rig jumped a center median and struck the bus.

See the Glenn Tour Bus Crash Video:

The bus was carrying approximately 46 passengers at the time of the crash. Then it erupted into flames. At least nine people were killed in the collision and dozens more injured CHP said.
Seven students, the bus driver, and FedEx driver were the nine people killed in the crash. Also, dozens of others became injured. Also, CHP officials said the bus belonged to Silverado Stages tour Bus Company based in San Luis Obispo. The research we have done indicated that there are mixed reviews about this company on Yelp (

The research we have done indicated that there are mixed reviews about this company on Yelp (Read More), and that the company has a reputation for transporting students. The passengers on the bus included students and chaperones traveling to Humboldt State University for a college tour.

According to CHP officials, the FedEx 18-wheeler was traveling southbound. Then it crossed the center line, hitting the bus head-on in the northbound lane. But the authorities did not have information as to how the Nissan Altima crashed. Nor do they know what caused the tractor trailer truck to go over the center divider. At this point, we do not have any history on the trucker. Also, we do not have info from FedEx as to who they blame.

What Do the Family Members of the Bus Accident Victims Have to Say?

According to some reports by family members, the students were from Los Angeles and Riverside area schools. So these schools include Banning High School and Robert F. Kennedy High School. One parent stated her children attend Norte Vista high School in Riverside and boarded separate buses, with one child boarding the bus involved in the collision.

Governor Jerry Brown issued a statement, saying he and his wife extend their deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the passengers that died. So at this point, we cannot 100% blame the FedEx truck. Also, the Altima could have played a role in the wreck. We advise all of our viewers to thoroughly research any common carrier for hire when they ride, and that they also think about alternative forms of transport.

In California and under federal law, there is no requirement that buses even be equipped with seatbelts. So it is something to ponder. Our hearts also go out to the survivors.

Citations:

NBC News: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/tour-bus-fedex-crash-northern-california-los-angeles-students-254835921.html

 

Greyhound Bus Crashes in Arizona Injuring 23

Greyhound Bus Crashes in Arizona Injuring 23

Palo Verde Valley Bus reports Early Thursday morning a Greyhound bus crashed near Tonopah, west of Phoenix, Arizona. The crash injured at least 23 people. In any event, the bus was traveling eastbound on Interstate 10 at approximately 1:45 a.m. Also, this was in the vicinity of Tonopah.

See the Shocking Video Here:

The accident happened when the bus crossed the median. There it eventually came to a rest. Also, authorities believe before the crash one of the passengers yelled, “I’m gonna flip this bus.”  Then, a passenger began punching the bus driver in the head. That led to the bus crash, police said.

Greyhound said the bus was carrying 41 passengers at the time. Also, 23 passengers were transported to area hospitals. Last, the other 18 passengers did not report any injuries. So they were not evacuated. But the bus company said that two buses took the unharmed passengers to their destination(s).

Authorities:

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_west_valley/buckeye/23-injured-after-greyhound-crash-near-tonopah

http://www.scoop.it/t/personal-injury-attorneys/p/4014679519/2014/01/23/ehline-law-reports-23-injured-in-greyhound-wreck-due-to-distraction

California Bus Accident Facts

California Bus Accident Facts

bus-side-viewWhat is a Bus Accident?

Bus accidents, whether charter, public or school buses result in shocking consequences. Mainly this is due to the number of passengers carried on a bus. But most buses are not equipped or require riders to use seatbelts. So the passengers are able to move about to socialize. That means they get to use the restroom on buses equipped with this feature. Also, passengers are permitted to stand on many overcrowded commuter buses.

What is the State of the Law With Seatbelts and School Buses

Children on school buses are usually unrestrained and usually unsupervised. But the law is changing in some states.

What About Commercial Buses and Seatbelts?

Commercial vehicle accidents have increased in numbers, in recent years. Also, the number of people injured over the past several decades has also increased. In the United States annually, there are approximately 9,000 bus crashes. These crashes kill approximately 330 people and injure about 12,000 individuals, every year.

What are The Most Common Mishaps Involve Cars and Pedestrians?

The most common fatal bus accidents, the National Truck and Bus Safety Statistics show both the bus and car collision or the commercial vehicle and pedestrian have the largest number of fatalities.  The statistical data shows fatal bus crashes break down into about 25% when the bus gets in a mishap with a pedestrian. Also, approximately 60% of the time fatalities occur during a bus and car collision.

Nationwide during 2009, there were 311 people killed in these accidents and 39 of the deaths were in California. During 2009, there were 1,140 individuals injured in the commercial vehicle crashes in the state of California. Out of 2,816 fatal motor vehicle accidents, 23 involved buses.

Contributing factors that can cause or partially be responsible for bus accidents, include:

  • Inexperienced bus drivers or improper training.
  • Driver negligence.
  • Outdated equipment or aged buses.
  • Improper maintenance.
  • Defective products.
  • Dangerous roadways.
  • Weather conditions.
  • Inadequate security.

In any event, there are many doctors and lawyers who know what to do. Just pick up the phone. Legal counsel will provide the quality representation that is necessary in this type of complex case.  That way you can ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation for your losses. We hope this helped you learn some info?