Earlier this month, 14 people were injured when one tour bus collided into the side of another in the midst of a busy day in ever-bustling Times Square.
The driver of the at-fault vehicle, William Dalambert, was allegedly high on drugs when his double-decker tour bus careened into the side of the second bus. After the initial bus-on-bus impact, Dalambert’s bus hopped a curb and toppled a traffic light which fell on a group of innocent bystanders.
Both passengers and pedestrians were injured.
Per the DMV, William Dalambert had 11 prior licenses suspensions but was still legally permitted to operate the vehicle. Though his previous suspensions were for a range of causes, none included driving while impaired, which was what he was arrested for at the scene of this accident, which occurred on Broadway and West 47th.
And that’s exactly the problem. Since reports detailing accidents of this nature aren’t requisitioned by the city agency that licenses tour buses, such indiscretions can, and do obviously, go unnoticed. It’s got New York government officials wondering about the limitations of the governing body’s purview. Though, precisely herein lies the problem. The authority over these tour bus fleets is, actually, a tandem force including but not limited to the NYPD and the state Transportation Department. Inter-agency miscommunication can sometimes occur due to the way these separate entities categorize certain accidents.
Surely though, accidents shouldn’t be going wholly unreported.
Except that sometimes they do. According to Abby Lootens, a Spokeswoman with the Consumer Affairs Department (another agency that plays a hand in regulating the tour bus industry) there may be a loophole that permits bus companies to elect to not report their accidents. Consumer Affairs, in fact, does not consider accident history when renewing sightseeing companies’ licenses.
At a time when tour busses are more plentiful than ever before, (the industry has seen steady growth over the past half-decade) it seems more important than ever that stringent regulations are enforced. Tourism is massively important to New York City. It is a billion dollar per year industry and the lifeblood of the city’s economy. It’s also a major contributor towards NYC’s diversity and trademark heterogenous flair. New York plays host to approximately 47 million foreigners each year, who come to see our city’s superabundance of historic landmarks.
But the influx of so many people takes its toll, both on ground level police and the operating capacity of these regulatory agencies. The powers that be must make certain that tour buses and other sightseeing ventures ensure the safety not only of their participants but of native New Yorkers as well. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we believe this firmly. Which means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident of this nature, we want to help you secure compensation. In many cases, all of your hospital expenses can be provided for, especially if negligence is proved.
Our consultations are a free and easy way to learn about your rights, so contact us today.
(*It should be noted: William Dalambert was driving for the Gray Line tour bus company, not affiliated with the bus company pictured above.)