San Francisco

SF Assemblyman Calls for More Inspections After Major Tour Bus Accidents

A San Francisco assemblyman is calling for more tour bus inspections.

The request from Assemblyman Phil Ting comes after two major bus accidents in San Francisco since November, with one turning fatal over the weekend. Ting introduced a bill to the state assembly on Tuesday to increase inspections.

"We need to make sure our streets are safe," Ting said. "We need to make sure people walk safely here."

The bill calls on cities to take part in the inspection process. It is a change that he feels he is long overdue.

Ting at a news conference on Wednesday points to fatal tour bus accident in 2014, which took place at a crosswalk near San Francisco City Hall.

"A city worker was coming back from lunch and got hit by a tour bus," Ting said.

Other major tour bus accidents occurred in Union Square, including one in November that injured 20 people and another crash this past weekend. The recent crash killed an 82-year-old pedestrian near Post and Divisadero.

Ting said the major tour bus accidents prompted him to introduce Assembly Bill 1677. If passed, the bill would require the California Highway Patrol  to create tour bus inspection protocols with cities so they can inspect the buses. The cities would also have to report findings from the inspection to California's Public Utilities Commission.

The CHP currently inspects all buses. Ting claims CHP inspects about 30 percent of buses.

"At the very least we just need more eyes on these operators to make sure that the buses they're putting out on the streets are safe," Ting said.

Representatives with Walk San Francisco and San Francisco's Bike Coalition attended Wednesday's news conference.

"I think it's a great idea and something that's been unnoticed," said Nicole Ferrara, with Walk San Francisco.

The group also said the time to act is now.

"This is an industry that desperately needs more regulations so people can walk, bike and enjoy their tourist experience safely, said Margaret McCarthy with the San Francisco Bike Coalition.

Assembly Bill 1677 still needs to go through a number of committees before it makes it to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.

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