Sun | Sep 15, 2019

JUTC and compensation

Published:Thursday | January 24, 2019 | 12:25 AM


On Tuesday, I had a close encounter with a JUTC bus. While travelling on Old Hope Road at the intersection with Mountain View Avenue, a bus driver forced his way into my right-hand lane to circumvent an area of construction that was in his lane. To avoid a collision, I was forced to move into the lane with opposing traffic until I could safely move back into my lane, now behind the bus.

This incident reminded me of another encounter four years ago with a JUTC bus which, unfortunately, ended up being much closer than today’s incident. Also on Old Hope Road, as I drove through a green light and stopped behind the traffic ahead of me, a JUTC bus driver, who also came through the intersection, realised too late that the traffic was backed up and rammed into the back of my small car.

Shaken, but not injured, I came out of the car, as did the bus driver, who was one of the most apologetic, courteous individuals I have encountered. He admitted that it was his fault and made sure I was OK before we went to the police station to make a report, where he readily admitted liability.

I followed the correct procedure and drove the vehicle down to JUTC, where the inspector examined the car, my estimate for repairs, and admitted that the driver wanted to pay for the damage but that they would not allow him to do so. At no point did anyone suggest that it was in any way my fault, and my claim was accepted.

It is over four years later, and I have never received a cent for my vehicle’s damage. If there can be such an open-and-shut case where JUTC claimed responsibility, yet I have received zero compensation, my question is, based on the number of JUTC-related accidents on the road, does anyone ever get compensated if they actually survive?

One positive takeaway from my experience is that there are actually decent bus drivers out there who will acknowledge when they are wrong and try to rectify the situation.

If only JUTC would follow their example.

Carla Girod