State Senate Approves Bill to Create Rapid Transit System in TN
A bill sponsored by State Senator Jeff Yarbro that would pave the way for a rapid transit system in the state passed yesterday by a 24-4 vote, and it now awaits a vote in the House.
According to a report by The Tennessean, the rapid transit system would allow bus drivers to operate buses on highways and interstates, pass vehicles on the right side of roadways, and drive on the shoulders of those roadways.
Similar transit programs have been approved in nearby states, including North Carolina and Georgia. The bill is designed to help reduce the levels of traffic and congestion that drivers in Middle Tennessee experience when traveling to and from Nashville during rush hour and other peak-driving times.
The director of planning and grants at the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority has expressed support for the bill, and its sponsor says that similar systems have created numerous benefits in other states, including Minnesota.
In related news, a study by TomTom Traffic Index found that Nashville traffic was the 19th worst in the United States in 2015, with drivers spending an extra 22 percent of their driving time experiencing traffic congestion. In addition, the city’s traffic woes increased by two percent from 2014 to 2015.
Tips for Staying Safe While Using Public Transportation
Public transportation systems in Nashville are helpful when you need to get somewhere but don’t have access to a vehicle or a cab. They’re also a daily part of life for school-aged children who ride buses to get to and from school. While you may not be behind the wheel when riding a bus, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of accidents or contributing to accidents.
The next time you or your children ride public transportation, do your best to follow these tips:
- Make sure the bus driver can see you when he or she approaches or leaves the bus stop.
Like all vehicles, buses have blind spots, and if you’re in one, you’re at a higher risk of being struck by the bus or other vehicles. When you’re waiting to board a bus, or if you’ve just exited a bus, make sure you stay visible by remaining within the driver’s line of sight and never standing directly in front of the bus or directly behind the bus.
- Never cross the street in front of or behind a bus without using a crosswalk.
After getting off the bus, you may need to cross the street. Crossing from the area in front of or behind the bus can put you at a significant risk of being struck by a vehicle due to the fact that drivers can’t see you until you’re already in the roadway. To stay safe, walk to the nearest crosswalk after exiting the bus and cross the street at that location.
- Buckle up if seatbelts are available, and keep your personal items out of the aisle.
Some buses are equipped with seatbelts. If you’re riding on a bus with seatbelts, always buckle up to help reduce your risk of injuries during an accident. In addition, you can also protect yourself and other bus riders by keeping your personal belongings out of the aisle and instead placed under your seat or at your feet. Not only does this help prevent people from tripping and falling in the aisle, but it also makes those items less likely to strike other passengers in the event of an accident.
The increasing population in Middle Tennessee and Davidson County means that the demand for public transportation will also increase over time. Buses and rapid transit systems can help reduce the congestion that residents experience when driving in the city, on the highway, or on the interstate, but it’s important to remember that riding public transportation can pose certain dangers, and being prepared for those dangers can help reduce your risks of suffering serious injuries.
Were you or someone you love injured during an accident while riding public transportation? If so, the Nashville bus accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law want to speak with you. We have two decades of experiencing fighting for the rights of injured victims of all types of auto accidents, and we know what it takes to win. Dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form to find out how we can help you.