By Joseph Miklos, a New York Car Accident Attorney with the law firm of Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C.
It would surprise most people to know that under current New York law, individuals that are licensed to operate school buses and certain other types of transportation are not required to undergo random drug testing, and that only six hours had to pass between an individual consuming alcohol and driving a school bus. The state is now changing that, by requiring school bus drivers to submit to random drug and alcohol testing, and by enlarging the amount of time that must pass between the consumption of alcohol and the driving of a bus from six hours to eight.
Since 2012, there have been at least four instances where a school bus driver was arrested for driving a school bus while intoxicated. Even one instance of an individual operating a school bus under the influence is unacceptable, and this new law makes it clear that it will not be tolerated.
What this law should do is make the roads safer for both the students on the buses and those driving on the roads with the buses. A bus being operated by an intoxicated driver poses a serious threat to anyone in their vicinity due simply to the size of the vehicle. Subjecting operators to random drug and alcohol testing should reduce the likelihood of these events even further.
If you have been involved in an accident with a bus, there are certain steps that you should take in order to protect your rights. It is incredibly important that the police are called and that a police report is prepared, detailing the accident, the location, and the individuals involved, the conditions at the time, and any other pertinent information. As much information about the bus and its driver as possible should be obtained as well.
Following the accident, contact an experienced New York Bus Accident Attorney. He or she will be able to guide you through the process of negotiating with insurance companies and will be able to advocate on your behalf. If a school bus is involved, the city or county government will likely be involved in any negotiation as well. Rest assured that these parties will be represented by counsel. There is no reason for you not to be represented as well.
Joseph Miklos is a personal injury attorney from the law firm Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. He has experience handling cases involving car accidents, construction accidents, and product liability. He can be found on Facebook and LinkedIn.