Lawyer : Las Vegas Bus Stop Shelters are 'Death Traps' - 8 News NOW

Lawyer : Las Vegas Bus Stop Shelters are 'Death Traps'

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This crash on Sept. 20, 2013 resulted in a truck slamming into a bus stop shelter and hitting three young children. This crash on Sept. 20, 2013 resulted in a truck slamming into a bus stop shelter and hitting three young children.
In Sept. 2012, a car smashed into a bus stop shelter at Spring Mountain Road and Decatur Boulevard killing four people. In Sept. 2012, a car smashed into a bus stop shelter at Spring Mountain Road and Decatur Boulevard killing four people.

LAS VEGAS --  One Las Vegas lawyer is referring to the more than 1,100 bus shelters around the valley as "death traps" and has filed a class action lawsuit against the Regional Transportation Commission.

Attorney Matthew Callister said the lawsuit is a move to force the agency to work faster to protect bus riders.

Some bus stop shelters have been moved back at least five feet from the curb. Studies have shown that could reduce chances of crashes, potentially deadly ones, by 80 percent. Across the valley, there are still around 1,100 bus stops still not meeting the safety standard.

Rita Fairman recalls a morning in May when a car ran onto the curb at her bus stop and hit another rider standing right in front of her.

"The next thing I know she was like bam! Right into me," Fairman said. "The car knocked her hard."

Fairman suffered minor injuries. She believes the crash would have been avoided if the bus shelter hadn't been so close to the curb.

"At least you have a chance to run or see a car coming towards you, you get a chance to run," Fairman said.

Callister is hoping legal pressure will force the RTC to work faster on pushing more bus stop shelters five feet away from the curb. He filed the lawsuit Wednesday morning.

"It's not happening fast enough. This should be the most important agenda item, far ahead of improving roadways, anything else," Callister said.

He is also representing the family of the three young boys who were critically injured when they were hit by a pickup truck while waiting for a bus near Bonanza Road and Lamb Boulevard last Friday.

"It's hard your heart just sinks," said Tina Quigley, RTC's general manager.

She says the agency has spent around $15 million to push back more than 600 bus stop shelters at least five feet from the curb. Quigley admits some 1,100 still don't meet safety standards.

"It's RTC's number one priority, that we are providing a safe transit system above and beyond all, Quigley said.

Fairman said the responsibility of safety also falls to drivers.

The class action lawsuit against the RTC is not seeking any punitive damages. However, in the case of the three young boys hit last week, two of them are still in critical condition. Callister said he will go after damages in that case to help the family.

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