One of the most fundamental concepts of liability is that the defendant "takes the victim as he finds him." Apart from hospitals and nursing homes, few areas of modern life confront, litigate and test this principle as often as public transportation.
As we all know, public transportation is a fiercely competitive business, even in operating environments which are subsidized. But the failure to make tiny investments in safety can be costly in the courtroom.
Alcohol and bus ridership present a curious enigma. As a matter of public policy, we allow intoxication. As a matter of free market dynamics, we encourage it. And rightfully so, we want to protect those intoxicated from hurting themselves and others.
This title makes me think immediately of funerals. This is not what this installment is about, although problems in the office and on the road often translate into funerals for operating companies, not just their accident victims.
As most motorcoach community members know, contracting plays a major role in much of our operations - including the 30% of motorcoach service provided to schoolchildren on field trips, as well as the commuter-express service provided under contract to transit agencies.
One would think in the Age of Irreversible and Growing Unemployment, employers could phase out their "dead wood" and find some personnel capable of performing their functions competently. Regrettably, bus agencies and companies are generally not among those which do.
Policies can be very difficult to change, and advocates of change who claim a logical or scientific foundation need valid, reliable, and convincing data. An example of the process is the policy of regulating truck drivers' hours of service in order to reduce motor vehicle crashes.