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I-95 Commercial Bus Crash in Stafford County – Oversight Needed on Bus Driver Hiring?

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At least four people suffered serious injuries after a commercial bus overturned on Interstate 95 (I-95) in Stafford County, Virginia (VA).

The bus reportedly overturned on its side in the southbound lanes between Stafford and Fredericksburg. There were 54 passengers on the bus when the wreck occurred. All of the passengers had to be taken to a local hospital for treatment.

The bus driver, a resident of Flushing, New York, has been charged with reckless driving. Police believe speed was a factor in the crash, according to PilotOnline.com.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time a large commercial bus wrecked on I-95. Just a couple years ago, a commercial bus crashed on I-95 resulting in the deaths of four innocent passengers.

Just a few months ago, a tour bus wrecked on Route 13 while heading to Virginia Beach, VA. The result was multiple passengers suffering serious injuries.

In each instance, the bus driver was charged with a traffic violation. For example, in the Route 13 wreck, the bus driver was cited for a failure to keep a vehicle on the roadway. Now, the bus driver in this most recent Virginia incident is facing criminal charges for reckless driving. This begs the question – should there be additional oversight on how commercial bus lines hire their bus drivers?

These accidents all relate back to some careless error on the part of the bus driver. Obviously, we can’t eliminate all human error in driving, but it is possible to reform the requirements for someone to be allowed to operate a large commercial bus.

Another related issue is how commercial bus drivers are compensated. Many commercial bus companies, in an effort to maximize profit, do not pay bus drivers a great wage. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average commercial bus driver makes around $36,000 per year. To put that into context, the average store manager of a Starbucks makes $44,860 in salary per year.

We sincerely hope the passengers injured in this terrible bus accident, especially those in serious condition, make a speedy recovery.

 

PA