New Law Proposed That Would Keep Dangerous School Bus Drivers Off U.S. Roadways
The school bus accident that occurred on I-80 in Mount Olive, NJ a few weeks ago has prompted a change that is expected to keep unsafe school bus drivers off the road all across the nation. Apparently, that accident occurred after 77-year-old Hudy Muldrow, the bus operator, swerved across the three-lane highway in an effort to make an illegal U-turn by cutting across the highway median. And after police conducted their investigation, what they uncovered aside from this was disturbing to both parents and the public.
It turns out Muldrow has had his license suspended 14 times [Source: Miami Herald]. Surprisingly enough, his most recent suspension occurred in December. Some of the suspensions were for administrative reasons such as failing to pay a parking ticket, but he also had eight speeding violations on his record as well. So how is a driver who has had so many violations still permitted to drive a bus let alone one with children on board? That is one question the family of Miranda Vargas, a fifth-grader who was killed in the accident, has asked among many others.
Apparently, under the current federal regulations, the employer of a bus driver is only required to check their driving record on an annual basis. This means that if a driver fails to report that they have been charged with reckless driving or DUI, their employer may not know about it for another 364 days given they just conducted their background check. Essentially, a school bus driver who has had a DUI charge and fails to report this offense could still get behind the wheel of a school bus until their employer decides it is time to check their driving record.
With the law allowing dangerous bus drivers to operate school buses despite their driving history, the family of Vargas decided it was time for a change. That is how the Miranda Vargas School Bus Driver Red Flag Act, or Miranda’s Law, came about. The law is “aimed at keeping dangerous drivers off the roads and from behind the wheel of a school bus,” according to NJTV News. In the event a bus driver commits an infraction that is more severe than a parking ticket, “the school or school bus company will receive an alert about the infraction from the Department of Transportation within 24 hours,” says Rep. Josh Gottheimer.
Gottheimer is responsible for introducing the legislation and it will “require real-time alerts for every school district across the country and triggers infractions to go to a database monitored by the federal Department of Transportation.” With this new law, you can expect that fewer bus drivers who have violated the law will be permitted to get behind the wheel of a bus which in return will help prevent another fatal accident from happening. However, we can’t expect that it will prevent all bus crashes from occurring.
With that in mind, if you are a victim of a bus accident that occurred in Miami and are considering discussing your incident with a Miami, FL bus crash lawyer, let USAttorneys.com connect you with some of the best legal professionals in the field. Those involved in a bus collision are often entitled to compensation for pain, suffering, and even lost wages so the quicker you contact an attorney the quicker they can assess your accident and determine if you have a viable case on your hands.