For those living in big cities such as New York, buses are an everyday part of life. City dwellers rely on these modes of transportation for various personal and business reasons, as oftentimes buses are ideal in highly congested areas where traffic creates delays. Unfortunately, these buses sometimes do not operate as planned. One bus accident in Queens last month raised one focal issue: are all bus drivers trained and equipped to take thousands of lives into their own hands each day?
Daily News highlighted the bus accident in Queens that claimed three lives and left some passengers in critical condition. Reports on the incident show that, shockingly enough, the driver had been speeding and driving recklessly, and also allegedly had a history of drinking and driving. In fact, the driver, Raymond Mong, had faced DUI charges just two years prior to the accident that cost him his bus driving job with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Yet the state was unaware of these occurrences and allowed Mong to operate the bus that plowed through a red light at 60 miles per hour one Monday morning, crashing into an MTA bus. Not only had Mong faced DUI charges in the past, officials also learned that he had a history of driving without insurance, leaving the scene, and other counts.
The New York Times picks up where Daily News left off, adding that Mong was involved in another accident in 2015, from which he fled the scene. Somehow, this incident slipped through the legal cracks and Mong was once again employed as a bus driver in New York. He was left with a mere suspended jail sentence, and was placed on probation for 18 months for driving while under the influence and evading arrest. Mong’s company, Flushing-based Dahlia Group, has an equally alarming history: the company has been cited with countless serious violations in the past, including speeding and reckless driving.