On Sunday June 6, 2010 a 76 year old bicycle rider was run down by an RTD bus on the 16th Street Mall. Bicycles are normally not allowed on the mall except on Sundays and only in the bus lanes. According to recent reports the bus driver was cited for careless driving resulting in serious bodily injury because he failed to use his brakes to avoid the cyclist. Our thoughts are with gentleman who was hit by the bus and we hope for his speedy recovery.
This is now at least the fourth serious RTD accident in the past few months and there are almost no consequences for RTD because it is protected by the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act. This law protects RTD from the real damages that they cause when they hurt someone. For example, if you are hit by a bus the most that RTD has to pay is $150,000.00. If two or more people are hurt in an accident with an RTD bus the most RTD has to pay is $600,000.oo. That total is not per person, it is per accident. This means that if a bus driver rolls a bus full of passengers all of the injured passengers must some how divide the $60o,000.00.
This law essentially allows RTD to hire and retain employees who are not qualified or who are reckless because the consequences are capped. Enough is enough. The Colorado legislature must act now to make the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act more equitable. Visit the Colorado Legislature to find and contact your local representative ask that they change the law now.