I have been working with a Naomi Johnson of Essex County, who lost her son, a college student, to a bus accident where the driver, actually ran him over twice. Naomi, who is in the fashion industry and media, has started a scholarship fund for prospective inner-city college students in her area, based on her late son Deshon with that in mind, there are at least once in every week questionable bus accidents that occur in New Jersey.
Below are bullets on why and what should be done, whether here in New Jersey or on the federal level:
1. The Federal Bus Safety Administration prohibits bus drivers from driving more than than 10 hours on the road until they have rested at least eight hours prior to their continuance in driving! It is known some bus drivers suffer sleep disorders, which needs to be checked and corrected.
2. Drivers can often be distracted by phone or the radio of passengers and, by the drivers themselves.
3. Aggressive and reckless diving by bus drivers, while on their routes places risks for, both pedestrians or passengers, and this often at bus stops, where seniors have been the victims, as been shown in Bergen County.
4. Bus drivers, either being intoxicated or on prescription or other drugs have often been involved in speeding and reckless driving, while driving a bus with passengers. 5. Finally, mechanical failure, and this rests on NJ Transit, and other Bus Company operators. There has been a lack of repair and maintenance on buses, as reported recently on buses and trains.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has identified three safety issues for concern and these three issues are positively correlated with arguments stated above and include, operator fatigue, bus crashworthiness and the inadequate federal oversight of the bus companies and their drivers.
Too, often, passengers and pedestrians are hurt or killed in accidents, involving buses. This has to be lessened.
Bill Weightman, Hardyston