He could have (and should have) been fired for a number of reasons. He was a Broward County transit bus driver who had been disciplined 19 times, served more than 30 days of suspension and was responsible for 9 accidents. He was still offered a “last chance” back in 2008. Even after that “last chance” he continued to misbehave and was disciplined 7 more times, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The good news is that the driver’s history with the county ended two weeks ago. The bad news is that he was not fired, but retired instead. According to Broward transit officials, they would have fired him if he hadn’t left. But why wasn’t he fired already?
Our Fort Lauderdale bus accident attorneys understand that there is no room for these kinds of bus drivers in our area. We get on our buses expecting a safe ride to where we’ve got to go. Officials shouldn’t allow this kind of irresponsible driving behavior to jeopardize the public’s safety. The problem is that this isn’t the only Broward driver with a poor safety record. There are others who have been granted forgiveness for their accidents and for mistreating the public. Still, complaints about these drivers continue to roll in and nothing is done. Now, Broward’s disciplinary system for its bus drivers is being looked at by county officials, including the county auditor.
“I think some of them know they can get away with doing what they want,” Tom Cook said, a Wilton Manors resident who relies on the transit system.
The driver retired at the age of 62 making close to $50,000 a year. Not only does his employee file show a number of accidents, but also a number of flareups with riders.
During one of these flareups, he had a woman thrown off his bus because the rider’s daughter was snapping her gum loudly. He had another rider kicked off the bus for whistling.
The truth of the matter is that there is one less dangerous bus driver out on our roadways, but with the history of Broward officials, there are still others out there and surely more to come — unless something changes.
According to national bus accident statistics, there were close to 13,000 buses that were involved in traffic accidents in 2010. According to FARS, there were close to 250 people killed in busing accidents during the year. National officials are focused on improving the safety standards of buses in order to reduce injuries and fatalities. Local officials should be spending more time working to get safer drivers in these vehicles.
As a passenger, it’s important that you make yourself familiar with your legal rights.
If you or someone you love has been injured, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC for a free and confidential consultation at 1-800-561-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Twelve Accidents and Bus Driver Stays on Payroll, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, February 4, 2013
School Bus Accident in St. Lucie County Kills Young Rider, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, August 1, 2012