This case takes place in New York and involves a bus operator who struck a woman as she was crossing the street. The bus had stopped for a stop sign at an intersection. After coming to a full stop, the bus made a right hand turn onto the intersecting street. In doing so, the bus struck and killed the plaintiff, who was crossing the street in the crosswalk at the time. The weather was clear, and there appeared to be no obstructions to the driver’s view. A witness from a nearby store claimed that he saw the decedent crossing the street in the crosswalk when the bus started forward and made its turn. However, the police did not arrest the driver and concluded the accident was not the driver’s fault. It is alleged that the bus driver did not take the necessary precautions when making the turn.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Do you have extensive experience training bus drivers on proper driving practices and safety protocols?
- 2. Do you have knowledge of the proper steps to take when making a turn and how to ensure bystander safety?
- 3. Please explain your experience working on similar cases?
Expert Witness Response E-010185
This would be my 64th crossing accident case. Two years ago, I was engaged for almost this identical scenario in a case against the NYCTA (Katz v. NYCTA) and, two days later, the NYCTA stipulated to the negligence. There seems to be no remote defense to this incident, and if it was a transit bus, or motor coach, the driver was likely fatigued, and the schedule too tight (meaning there is an inference of the driver hurrying). Regardless, the liability is indefensible if the facts you cited are correct, and no one in this country has done more cases of this type than I have. I operated a paratransit system — not a fixed route system like this — for 10 years, and coordinated our training program. But while I have not taught fixed route drivers directly, I have trained tens of thousands of them through the 180 articles I have written for various magazines (including about 40 articles about crossing), and made several presentations to, collectively, thousands of drivers on various subjects, including this one. I know every nuance about the proper steps in making a turn, and I have testified about them on numerous occasions. My bi-line in School Transportation News articles was “The Crossing Guy.” I’m happy to assist on this case.
Expert Witness Response E-006659
There is no excuse for running over a pedestrian in a crosswalk. I have written a significant amount of driver training material, and the key when making turns is moving in your seat so that the view obstructions created by mirrors and window posts do not block seeing important things like pedestrians. I have a great deal of experience with bus driver training, and I would be happy to assist on this case.