The Associated Press (AP) reported (8.10.14) that New York City’s double-decker sightseeing buses have no legal obligation to report accidents to the city agency that licenses them. Attorney at Law David Perecman urged the City to add legislation that would require the buses to report accidents.
“City law should require double-decker sightseeing bus companies to report accidents,” said Perecman, a lawyer in New York for over 30 years. “The public deserves to know how dangerous or safe these vehicles are on the roads and they have the right to know whether or not the buses are safe to ride. Without the numbers, there cannot be an accurate picture of the operational and safety history of the double-decker buses traveling around New York.”
“With reporting, it would also be easier to identify problems before they become costly catastrophes,” he added.
Troublesomely, since New York City does not require the information, the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs does not consider accidents when renewing a sightseeing company’s license, said AP.
The loophole was disclosed to AP by the Consumer Affairs Department, one of at least five entities involved in regulating the buses. Scrutiny of the tour bus industry intensified following a recent collision between two tour buses in Times Square on August 5, 2014. The accident, which injured 14 people, made international and national news reports, including Reuters.
“A bus accident can result in catastrophic injuries to passengers and others given their large size and weight. Additionally, bus passengers are usually not wearing seat belts,” said Perecman.
The legal loophole and the police’s imprecise records also leave companies without official numbers to back up their “claims of high safety and few accidents,” said AP.
There are now 263 double-decker buses on the streets of NYC, reported AP. This is a significant increase from the 57 buses of this type that were around only a decade ago. The government does track the accident rates of other types of buses.
The Associated Press news story is “NYC Doesn’t Track Sightseeing Bus Accidents.”
For more than 30 years, the personal injury lawyers at The Perecman Firm in New York have aggressively helped individuals and-or their families obtain compensation following bus accidents in New York. Contact The Perecman Firm at 212-977-7033.
About David Perecman and The Perecman Firm, PLLC:
For the past 30 years, the New York construction accident, medical malpractice, auto accident, personal injury, and civil rights violation lawyers at The Perecman Firm, PLLC have handled all types of New York vehicular accident cases, including auto accidents and bus accidents. David Perecman, founder of the Firm, has been recognized for his achievements as an Honoree in the National Law Journal’s Hall of Fame, in New York Magazine’s “The Best Lawyers in America” and The New York Times Magazine “New York Super Lawyers, Metro Edition” for the years 2007-2010. The prestigious U.S. News & World Report ranks The Perecman Firm among the top 20 personal injury firms in New York City for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.
The Firm has recovered millions of dollars for its clients. Among the more recent victories, Mr. Perecman won a $15 million verdict** for a construction accident (Index 112370/03) Supreme Court, New York County, a $5.35 million dollar verdict*** for an automobile accident (Index 2749/04) Supreme Court, Kings County, and a $40 million dollar structured settlement for medical malpractice (Index 2146/03)****Supreme Court, Kings County.
The Perecman Firm serves Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester, Upstate NY, Morris County, and Rockland County.
**later settled while on appeal for $7.940 million
*** later settled for $3.5 million
**** total potential payout
“Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.”