ANOTHER Bus Accident! 3rd in 2 weeks!


#1

[B]Bus driver, 80, charged in 3rd Disney bus crash in 2 weeks[/B]
By Anika Myers Palm and Susan Jacobson, Orlando Sentinel

A Disney bus driver was charged with careless driving after two passenger vehicles were struck by his bus shortly before noon Saturday.

Florida Highway Patrol identified the driver as Fredrick Cassens, 80, of Auburndale. He struck the back of a 2009 Chevrolet sport utility vehicle that was stopped at a red light at East Buena Vista and World drives, troopers said. The impact caused the Chevy to hit the back of a 1999 GMC van, also a Disney vehicle, that was stopped for the light, too.

WESH.com reported that 19 people were on the Disney bus. There were said to be no injuries.

A check of Cassens’ driving record shows one infraction, a 2004 charge of failing to obey a traffic-control device in Osceola County. He admitted guilt and paid a fine.

The crash was the third such event on the theme park’s property in the past two weeks. The most recent killed a 9-year-old Pinellas County boy, who was run over Thursday after his bicycle drifted into the side of a Disney bus at Fort Wilderness Resort , investigators said.

Asked whether the company would alter its bus-travel procedures in light of the accidents, spokeswoman Andrea Finger said Disney World continually analyzes its operations, including transportation. About 300 buses operate on Disney property every day, she said.

“Based on the information provided by the Florida Highway Patrol [on the crashes], we continue to believe that our transportation is safe,” Finger said.

An online ad for bus drivers states that they must have a commercial drivers license, conduct bus-safety inspections and answer guest questions. There is no upper age limit, although drivers must pass a physical at least once every two years, Finger said. Starting pay is $10.25 per hour.


#2

Well, I have no comments other than bus accidents, death and life happen no matter where you are. I assume all WDW bus drivers have a CDL and a backgorund…no telling which of their drivers will have an accident. Car/bus accidents happen all over the world. I feel bad for any injured parties however, but again, accidents happen every second of every day all over the world. Why would WDW be different?


#3

Dana, I agree with you. You put that many people in one area and there are bound to be accidents. It’s just a bummer for Disney, they have been having a bad streak when it comes to their transportation system. I also feel bad for all people involved, I can’t imagine my “magical trip” being cut short by an accident or injury - life is unexpected, so you just never know when these things can happen. But its a little bit sadder when it happens at the most magical place on earth. :frown:


#4

I agree that accidents happen everywhere but in my opinion, at 80 years old, driving a crowded bus at Disney sounds challenging. Perhaps they could find a different position in the company for people of that age? Statistics have shown elderly drivers pose more risk than teen drivers. I wouldn’t expect Disney to have a teen driving their bus either. If it is cut backs that are behind some of these accidents then they need to rethink their decisions. Just my opinion though…


#5

I’m sorry - but I think that Disney is wholly at fault here. An 80 year old man has NO BUSINESS driving a WDW bus - I am all for jobs for the elderly, but not when you’re putting peoples’ lives at stake. I’m glad no one was injured.


#6

I agree and don’t agree. No one can be sure how fast or unfast their reaction time will be at 80 years old. My grandparents for instance were great examples of both extremes. My Mom’s father had to have this license “taken” away from him at 75…he was dangerous. My Dad’s father was the exact opposite. I think this it really needs to be a “must” for people over 75 to be retested for the driver’s license every other year to determine if they are past the driving stages of life.


#7

Yes, the “bad streak” stinks. It just unfortunately can’t be controlled. I can’t imagine my magical trip being stopped, ruined or anything other than perfectly magical either. It’s so easy to say “accidents happen” when it’s not you.


#8

Regarding the driver’s age, I was reading on another forum… people were saying that refusing to hire an 80-year-old as a bus driver would be age discrimination, so this puts Disney in a bit of a catch-22.


#9

Yes, it most definately does. .


#10

True, but the work around is a rigorous hands on test, continued education, and either annual or bi-annual assessment of driving skills and reaction time. Quality Assurance is just one part of customer service.


#11

Unfortunately, this is the problem with “political correctness” (and laws). I get so tired of PC usurping common sense. I have nothing against seniors. Good grief - I’m heading that my way myself - but we all know how busy WDW can be - and an 80 year old shouldn’t be in that position - no more than a 17 year old who just got his licence. There are some jobs - especially like this where people’s safety is involved - where there SHOULD be extremely strict standards. God bless 80 year olds - but they shouldn’t be driving WDW buses.


#12

If I was 80 years old, I would not want to have that responsibility. Now, i would however, sell ice cream, or work in the camera shop… somewhere out of the heat. They can definitely be part of the magic, but I think that Disney needs to look at any and all changes that they have recently made in hiring/laying people off… not that they can’t do it, but where they put people when they hire them is extremely important.


#13

I believe generally at 80 years of age our congnitive abilities are considerably reduced, along with the ability to react as adeptly as someone of lesser years.
I appreciate there are elderly people that are far more astute than the norm, however, as this recent accident demonstrates, this clearly was not the case with this driver.
In the UK, this man would not have even been employed especially driving a public commercial vehicle.


#14

there is no way an 80 yr old should be driving a bus. or a car for that matter. sorry i don’t care how “with it” you are. just like you have to be 16 to get your liscense, i think once you hit 75 you should not be allowed to drive. sorry to offend anyone but that’s just how i feel. that’s a lot of people’s lives you are putting in danger. i understand accidents can happen anywhere. that is true. and i also know that accidents can happen to a 30 yr old just as easily an 80 yr old but still. i think having this person driving a bus shows extreme lack of responsibility of disney’s part. they also need ongoing training and semi annual testing or inspection of their drivers. disney drivers have to be some of the worst bus drivers i have ever seen and i am surprised these drivers haven’t been in more accidents. they are not only driving around a usually VERY crowded area, but they are driving with an overfilled bus, and with other drivers who mostly have no clue where they are going.


#15

Age alone isn’t the factor.

I have a 80 flight instructor that I’ve flow with that flew in WWII and is still rock solid on the controls of an airplane or a car. Can’t read his handwriting anymore but he’s still a great stick in the airplane!


#16

The article does say they have yearly exams.


#17

[QUOTE=rlcarmichael;1027111]Age alone isn’t the factor.

I have a 80 flight instructor that I’ve flow with that flew in WWII and is still rock solid on the controls of an airplane or a car. Can’t read his handwriting anymore but he’s still a great stick in the airplane![/QUOTE]

There are exceptions to every rule. My neighbour is 80 and jogs every morning - he’s in terrific shape. I’m sure a lot of people know someone like that. But there is not denying that 80 is an elderly age and reflexes, strength, eyesight, stamina will be affected. There are plenty of jobs at WDW that seniors can do - but being in control of a couple of tons of bus and hundreds of people - is not one of them.


#18

Again, agree…stupid PC is so annoying!