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Legislators Call For Increased Bus Safety To Reduce Alleged Wrongful Death Incidents

Photo of Harlan Thompson

A March, 2014 accident involving a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus took the life of a pedestrian, and local lawmakers spoke out in the aftermath of the fatal event about the need for greater pedestrian safety efforts.

At about 1:30 a.m. on March 8, a MTA bus turned onto Meeker Avenue at Union Avenue. In the process of making the turn, the bus struck a 21-year-old woman. Witnesses later said that it did not appear that the driver of the bus was aware that someone had been hit. A witness that was also a cousin of the deceased said that there was only light traffic at the time, and that the bus seemed to come out of nowhere.

More Cooperation Urged

Local representatives responded to this pedestrian fatality by urging the mayor to promote cooperation between the Department of Transportation and the MTA to broaden the implementation of safety measures based upon a Swedish safety plan called Vision Zero. The lawmakers want any government transportation vehicles to also become a part of the mayor's plan.

Specific NYC Bus Safety Proposals

Specifically, advocates point to the need for a customized bus wheel guard that is designed to deflect individuals away from the wheels path. The local legislators also cite the advantages of the so-called "Leading Pedestrian Interval," which times lights for pedestrians and vehicles in such a way that those in a crosswalk have a full 17 seconds to complete their crossing before the light turns green for vehicles.

A MTA spokesman responded by noting efforts already in place to promote bus safety. He also indicated that the Department of Transportation has already been in touch with the MTA regarding how the Vision Zero safety plan might better include the transit authority.

When a pedestrian dies in an accident in which negligence may have been a factor, survivors may consider that a wrongful death incident that would call for a need for compensation for loss of companionship. For more information, or to discuss your own personal or family situation, please contact us.

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