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Bus accident story highlights CTA's "four strike" rule

Most of us are familiar with the rules of baseball. In baseball a batter gets three attempts to swing and connect with a ball before being considered out. A recent story about the Chicago Transit Authority reveals that they have a similar policy when it comes to bus drivers who have minor accidents. The only exception is that CTA bus drivers may get four proverbial swings at bat before they are terminated.

The CTA policy was revealed after an accident between a CTA bus and a motorist stopped at the intersection of Cortland and Hermitage earlier this month. According to the report, a CTA bus was making a left turn when it bumped into the Volvo station wagon. Although there were no injuries, the driver of the Volvo was stunned when the bus driver got out and accused him of hitting the bus with his car.

The event left the Volvo driver puzzled as to why someone would go to such lengths to lie about such a minor collision. After some review, a CTA spokesperson revealed that the CTA sometimes fires drivers for one serious accident, but will tolerate up to four minor accidents within a two-year period.

The CTA spokesperson denied that the CTA encourages its employees to deny accident liability. In fact, the CTA reviewed footage of the accident taken from a camera installed on the bus and admit fault in the collision. It remains unknown whether it was the driver's fourth minor collision when she struck the Volvo.

Motorists injured in bus accidents sometimes face an uphill hurdle when seeking to recover money for their damages. All bus companies and other mass transit organizations carry insurance coverage. Many times victims are intentionally mislead or purposely delayed by the people tasked with representing the interests of the insurance companies. Injured victims need someone on their side to advocate forcefully on their behalf against such tactics.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times, "4 strikes, you’re out: CTA bus bump sparks chain reaction of fear" Neil Steinberg, Jun. 19, 2014

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