Carl Berkowitz, Ph.D., P.E., AICP, Transportation and Railroad Safety Expert
On September 21, 2023, a charter bus crash along a New York section of Interstate 84 resulted in two fatalities and multiple injuries. The bus was one of six in a caravan carrying students and adult chaperones from Farmingdale High School. Just 30 minutes from their destination, the bus veered off the highway and fell into a 50-foot ravine.
While the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) investigation of the incident is ongoing, reporters from the USA Today network uncovered 25 vehicle inspection violations recorded within the past 24 months against the private operator, Regency Buses. The reporters reached out to Carl Berkowitz, Ph.D., P.E., AICP, Transportation and Railroad Safety Expert with DJS Associates, for his thoughts on these findings and the tragic incident.
Dr. Berkowitz advised that the violations described in the citations were all relatively minor. If the violations had been more serious, the buses would have been taken out of service. He also elaborated on the federal operating standards for interstate commercial vehicles that would apply to the coach buses owned and operated by Regency.
Commercial drivers must complete a required safety checklist. Dr. Berkowitz explained, “The bus doesn’t leave the yard if there is anything wrong on that checklist.” While authorities have publicly speculated that a tire failure may have contributed to the accident, Dr. Berkowitz cautioned against jumping to any conclusions, as there are many potential factors to be analyzed throughout the investigation.
Read the full article from the USA TODAY network for more information.Categories: Carl Berkowitz, Ph.D., P.E., AICP | Transportation Engineering | Transportation Safety