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Lawmakers Demand Change After West New York Bus Crash

David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ

Several New Jersey and federal lawmakers gathered in West New York today, to discuss different ideas about how to crack down on irresponsible independent bus and van operators.

The meeting took place after a jitney driver talking on a cell phone crashed into a light pole that crashed down, killing an 8 month old girl in her stroller last week.

“Problems with independent bus and van companies have been going on since the 1980’s – it’s difficult to control these companies because they’re governed by inter-state commerce regulations,” said Nick Sacco, chairman of the State Senate Transportation Committee.

In addition to increasing inspections of these types of vehicles, lawmakers are also looking at the idea of holding the bus and van companies criminally responsible for the behavior of their drivers.

New Jersey Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez said, “These drivers are very irresponsible, many of them are -they need to be overseen by another agency, because obviously they are not doing the right thing.”

New Jersey Congressman Albio Sires stressed the importance of improving the lines of communication between the state and federal government, in monitoring bus companies, to make sure they’re keeping their vehicles safe and providing proper training for their drivers.

The funeral for 8 month old Angelie Paredes was held yesterday in North Bergen.

The jitney driver, Idowu Daramola, is facing charges of death by auto, reckless driving and using a cellphone while operating a motor vehicle.

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