Two people were injured in a San Bernardino bus accident on August 4, 2009 after the driver of an Omnitrans bus ran a red light and crashed into the back of a stopped vehicle. According to a news report in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, the bus driver ran a red light at Base Line Street as he approached Webster Street in Highland, California. The bus hit the stopped vehicle and pushed it into another car that was making a left turn at the intersection. San Bernardino Sheriff’s officials are not sure yet whether the injured passengers were on the Omnitrans bus or in the other two vehicles.
I sympathize with the victims of this California car accident that was apparently the result of the Omnitrans bus driver running a red light. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep them in your prayers.
Liability in Bus Accidents
Bus carriers – whether public or private – owe their passengers the highest duty of care. That means these companies are responsible for making sure passengers are transported safely. In this case, the bus driver ran a red light. It’s not clear how or why it happened. The driver may have been distracted or fatigued. He or she may have even suffered a medical condition. I would look into whether he or she was talking on the cell phone or texting.
California Car Accident Law
Running a red light is a serious vehicle code violation. There are various California Vehicle Code sections that are part of what we commonly refer to as the “rules of the road.” These code sections address motorists’ behavior at intersections, especially those controlled by traffic signals. California Vehicle Code Section 21453 (a) states: “A driver facing a circular red signal shall stop at the limit line before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown.”
According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), in 2006, as many as 171,000 car accidents and 144,000 injuries and 887 deaths were attributed to red light running. Public costs exceed $14 billion per year and more than half of the deaths in red light running crashes are other motorists and pedestrians as opposed to the red light runners themselves.
The injured victims would be well-advised to retain the services of an experienced California personal injury lawyer who will analyze all the facts of this case and determine whether the bus driver was negligent. If that was the case, both the driver and the bus company, in this case the transit system, can be held liable for the accident, injuries and damages caused.