When Houston residents rely on public transportation, they expect public transportation employees to operate with a certain level of respect for public safety. People should not have to fear for their safety when they want to use a bus or a subway.
But it appears that a city bus driver violated that trust, and it led to what could be ruled a wrongful death.
According to reports, a man was struck and killed by a city bus on April 17 as he crossed the street near a bus station in the early evening hours. The bus was empty when the accident happened.
After an internal investigation by Metro, it was determined that the driver could have done more to prevent the accident from occurring, even though the driver told investigators that he did not see the man in time to stop.
Metro officials recently fired the driver, who had been an employee for 12 years.
A senior official with Metro said that the organization regrets the accident, and that it is doing enough to ensure that drivers are operating buses safely. The Harris County, Texas, prosecutor, however, continues to investigate the accident.
Metro's internal investigation and the driver's firing is likely of little comfort to the family of the victim. It is more likely that they are interested in the prosecutor's findings. Besides the driver being directly responsible, Metro could also share in the blame if it is found that the company did not take safety issues seriously. But that is something an organization that serves the public should take incredibly seriously.
Source: KHOU, "Metro discharges bus driver involved in fatal accident in Midtown," May 3, 2012