With the school year kicking off recently in New Jersey, a story came to light involving buses and state safety inspections.
According to NBC 4 New York, a search of New Jersey motor vehicle records recently revealed that Horizon Link’s fleet failed at a 96 percent rate during its last inspection. The company is contracted out to provide transportation to students in the West Orange-area and one of its buses was recently involved in an injury accident.
On August 13, 11 children were injured in an accident when a Horizon bus smashed into an SUV and crashed into a liquor store. An initial investigation revealed that the driver of the bus said that its brakes failed prior to the accident. The children on the bus were on their way to Mt. Carmel Guild School at the time of the crash.
The news outlet reported that when state safety inspections were last performed on Horizon’s fleet, “47 of its 48 buses taken were taken out of service for things like failed brakes, defective emergency exits and fuel leaks.”
A representative with Horizon Link said that the reason why so many of its buses fail inspections is that the state is very strict. According to NBC 4 New York, buses in New Jersey are inspected every six months. In addition to these checks, unannounced inspections are also performed monthly, in some cases, as part of the Governor’s School Bus Safety Task Force.
If you have concerns about your child’s bus and its safety, you can check out the state’s inspection database by clicking here. At this site, you can view inspection reports by providing your city and/or the name of the company contracted out to provide your child with transportation.
Many School Bus Accidents are Avoidable
In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a safety study about school bus accidents in the United State. The agency said that between 2001 and 2010, there were more than 1,200 fatal school bus accidents nationwide.
The NHTSA reported that most of the accidents were avoidable. The majority of them occurred because of negligence on the part of the bus driver and/or other drivers on the road. Additionally, some occurred due to auto part failure.
It is unacceptable when children are placed in danger due to the recklessness of a transportation provider. School bus operators have a duty to make sure that drivers are trained adequately and that all vehicles are safe.
If your child is injured in a school bus accident, talk to our Middlesex County vehicle accident attorneys about your legal rights.
Spevack Law Firm – Middlesex County Injury Attorneys