Posted on January 30, 2018
An interesting thing happened in Lancaster County recently: Pennsylvania’s auditor general says that a Lancaster school district had hired five bus drivers who had criminal records. These records were bad enough to ban them from transporting students, but they had been hired anyway. At least one of those drivers had a conviction of assault and others had drug possession convictions. The unfortunate thing is that, looking back on audits to 2008 on the School District of Lancaster, 21 out of 132 bus drivers didn’t meet employment standards to be driving bus for that school district.
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale commented on the matter that if his office had not informed to tell the districts about the drivers, they would still be on the roads today, and this is unacceptable because there is a higher chance of accidents and harm to these students if this was the case. He stated, “This should be a message to all school districts, all over Pennsylvania. It is your responsibility, not the responsibility of the contractor, to make sure the people driving these buses are legally allowed to do it.”
There are many requirements that bus drivers have to meet on the roads, and there is good reason for this. School buses are large vehicles that take extra care when navigating the roads, and bus drivers need to constantly be in the know about how the entire system works as well as what to do in emergency situations. But further than that, those who drive buses have to keep children safe from all harm. Because of this, there is extensive training for the job as well as professional licenses before you can even become a bus driver.
If a loved one has been injured in a school bus accident, you will usually turn to the bus driver for liability when you are seeking damages. But there is another company who could be liable as well: the school district. If a school district did not look into a bus driver’s criminal or traffic background, and an accident occurs, this could definitely lead to liability. This is called “inadequate hiring or training” in terms of negligence. A district has a legal duty to make sure that drivers are true professionals at their job. If they are not hiring individuals who are qualified, they may be held liable.
If you need help with your accident claim, call us for more information on how we can help. As personal injury attorneys in PA, we work to get you the best results possible when you or a loved one has been left injured in an accident that could have been prevented. At Edelstein Martin & Nelson, we care about you and your case. Call us today to find out how we can help.