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California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law three separate bills designed to improve bus safety in September, following a number of unrelated bus accidents over the last several years, including a 2014 charter bus crash that killed five Los Angeles high school students. The bills were signed into law before one of the worst bus accidents in California history resulted in 13 deaths when a charter bus returning to Los Angeles from a casino rammed into a truck. These ongoing tragic bus accidents are a reminder of all that remains undone in improving bus safety and how dangerous negligent drivers, owners, and operators are to the safety of Californians.

New Buses Must Have Emergency Lighting

Under one of the new laws signed by Governor Brown, new buses built in July 2020 or after holding 39 or more passengers must have emergency lighting installed which will turn on in the event of a collision. Although such a measure is unlikely to have any effect on whether a collision occurs, it will make it easier for passengers to recover from a collision and for emergency responders to deal with accidents.

Safety Instructions Must Be Given on Buses

The same bill includes a requirement that bus drivers must provide video instructions or written instructions on emergency exits and how to operate safety features in the event of a crash. Because bus drivers are often the reason buses crash, a failure to follow this step may be provider riders and inspectors with an early sign something may be amiss.

Increased Tour Bus Inspections

In 2015, an out-of-control San Francisco tour bus crashed into construction scaffolding at 40 MPH near the city’s busy union square, resulting in 19 people being injured. Those in Los Angeles have seen an increase in questionable tour bus companies taking people around the busier parts of the city as well. Under a new California law, the California Highway Patrol will be tasked with working with cities and counties to increase tour bus inspection to avoid serious accidents like the one in San Francisco.

Youth Buses Will Require Rear Exit Scan by Driver

After a special needs student died from heat after accidentally being left in a school bus by the driver, a new California law will require drivers of school buses and other buses for youths to be outfitted with alarms that the driver must manually disarm at the back of the bus, thus forcing the driver to scan the back of the bus before exiting.

Contact the Kaufman Law Firm Today to Bring Your Accident Claim

The Kaufman Law Firm has consistently won six- and seven-figure verdicts and settlements on behalf of injured car and truck accident victims and their families. The personal injury and catastrophic injury attorneys at The Kaufman Law Firm will work with you from the moment you call to investigate the accident and build your best possible case for recovery. Contact The Kaufman Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.

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