A commercial driver’s license is a serious matter. To be a bus driver and transport large groups of people, there needs to be certification that the driver is in good health and sound mind for safe travels. When these steps are skipped, innocent people suffer.
A Baltimore bus crash
A school bus crashed into multiple vehicles in Baltimore last month, including a city bus. Six people died in the collision and others were injured. Investigation showed that not only was the driver’s license being downgraded, but that he had concerning medical issues and a history of crashes.
In the accident, the driver was working for a transit company hired by the school district to bus students. Investigations have revealed that the employer was aware of a recent health concern, but this information did not reach the school district. The district severed ties quickly after the accident.
Arizona bus drivers
To be a bus driver in Arizona, a driver must pass a skills test, gain endorsements, and undergo a Medical Review Program based on federal law. This review ensures that the driver is not a danger for passengers or to other vehicles on the road. A history of seizure-like symptoms, which the Baltimore driver showed, should warrant a close look before granting his commercial license (CDL).
The aftermath of a crash
It’s tragic when such a crash happens. In purchasing a bus pass or getting a ride to school there’s an understanding that the driver has been vetted. There is an expectation that the ride will be as safe as possible: that the primary threats of travel will come from conditions on the road instead of from the driver’s seat.
Hiring an unqualified driver is an act of negligence and a failure of the licensing system. In Baltimore, this driver should never have received a CDL, not to mention a job after the fact. Later, he suffered a medical emergency at work, yet was still driving the bus a week later.
When a bus crashes there are serious ramifications and many parties may have played a role. Investigations are ongoing in Maryland, but the transportation company, the school district, the licensing board and medical experts have all been involved at some point in the process.
In an Arizona crash, the scenario is similar. Anyone who has been in a bus crash, either as a passenger, in an affected vehicle or as a pedestrian on the street should consult with an attorney concerning your medical needs and damages.