New York cracks down on bus safety after deadly accident

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 15, 2011 1:13 PM
New York cracks down on bus safety after deadly accident

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A state transportation crackdown in the wake of last month's deadly Bronx bus crash has taken 124 bus drivers and 96 buses off New York roads, officials said..

Inspectors from the New York State Department of Transportation have worked with state police to conduct 1,286 surprise roadside checks since the effort began on March 17, the department said in a statement released on Thursday.

That was just days after a tour bus heading back to New York's Chinatown from a Connecticut casino crashed on a Bronx highway, killing 15 people.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who ordered the safety sweep, said his administration was simply aggressively enforcing the law.

"Bus drivers who don't follow the rules as well as buses that are unsafe must be taken off the road so that New Yorkers can have confidence in the safety of the public transportation system," the governor said in a statement.

Since the ramped up enforcement began, police have issued more than 150 moving violation tickets to bus drivers, authorities said.

Transportation officials said their "zero tolerance" policy has sidelined unsafe drivers and equipment.

"DOT inspectors continue to perform stepped-up roadside critical component checks, and -- even though this crackdown is now well-known -- they are still finding violations serious enough to take buses or drivers off the road," said Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; editing by Greg McCune)