Three people died, 17 were injured and the facade of a restaurant was destroyed when a private tour bus ran a red light at the intersection of Main Street and Northern Blvd., crashing into a city bus in Flushing during September of last year. While you’d think that it would only take a single crash to motivate the bus owner to clean up their act, a recent review of federal records shows that little has changed for them.
Since that fatal crash occurred now more a year ago, Kum Gang Tours, Inc. and its partner the Dahlia Group Inc. have both racked up at least 13 safety violations throughout the northeast corridor.
One was for making false reports about how many drivers a bus had, and another was issued because an employee was in possession of alcohol while on duty. At least one citation was handed out to an inattentive motorist and another to a driver for operating his bus at a speed 15 miles per hour above the posted limit.
The sheer number of violations that the operating company has accumulated in such a short period of time has now gotten the attention of the Federal Motor Carrier Administration. Still, the company has successfully maintained its conditional rating which allows it to continue shuttling customers back-and-forth between casinos freely.
While the fatal Flushing crash led some state lawmakers to call for increased oversight over private bus companies’ operations, the legislators weren’t motivated to make any changes to how things are done. One of the lawmakers said that the onus falls on the consumer to ask questions necessary to protect their safety. He also warned that a customer who chooses the cheapest option isn’t always concerned about that.
Bus crashes are much like plane ones. While they don’t happen every day like motorcycle, bike or automobile accidents do, when they do occur, they often result in a large number of individuals getting hurt or killed.
Fortunately our legal system allows victims of these preventable crashes to file civil lawsuits to cover their bills as a way to send a message to the liable party that such behavior won’t be tolerated. A Queens motor vehicle accidents attorney can advise you of your right to file a lawsuit in your own case.