School bus drivers have the important job of making sure that children travel to and from school safely. If a bus driver has a history of drug or alcohol use, or a health issue that affects their ability to safely operate the bus, it can seriously jeopardize the safety of every child. After a 2016 bus accident fatally injured six people last year, Baltimore City Council members are calling for the state education department to make the audit of the city school bus system a top priority.
In November of 2016, six people were fatally injured in a bus accident after a school bus driver rear-ended a car and then swerved into oncoming traffic, crashing into a Maryland Transit Administration bus. Fortunately, no children were on the bus at the time, but the school bus driver and five passengers on the MTA bus suffered fatal injuries. Last April, federal investigators called for an urgent audit of the system, including a more thorough screening process of all potential bus drivers. Unfortunately, according to officials, the school year is already well underway and the auditing process has yet to begin. City Councilman, Zeke Cohen, stated that the audit should have started before the previous school year ended or over the summer.
Maryland State Department of Education spokesman, Bill Reinhard commented that they expect to finalize a contract within the week. Once this happens, auditors will be required to submit a preliminary report by October 31. Cohen remains cautiously optimistic, as he was previously assured that the audit would begin sooner than it has.
Audit Will Identify Specific Safety Concerns
After the fatal bus crash, the National Transportation Safety Board requested the audit as one of many safety recommendations. After investigating the accident, it was discovered that the bus driver has a history of seizures and had been involved in several accidents. They also found issues with the state’s system of collecting safety records. Too often there were red flags that should have alerted the company about potential issues with a driver, but they were either missed or ignored.
As part of the auditing process, auditors will determine whether the bus company follows state and federal regulations. They will also review the driver’s vehicle records to ensure that they have a clean record. According to city school officials, they are providing more training opportunities for drivers, checking driver certifications, and examining other potential safety precautions.
Baltimore Car Wreck Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Justice for Victims of Motor Vehicle Crashes
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore car wreck lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. If the accident was caused by a bus driver who should not have been operating a school bus, we will take the necessary steps to hold the driver and the bus company responsible for their actions. Our dedicated team is committed to securing the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.