And Now We Know: MUNI Pays $66 Million in Settlements!
In the past, when we've heard about a large settlement paid out to a victim of MUNI, I've often wondered just how much all these settlements are costing, and today's Chronicle tells us - $66 million since 2002.
Reading some of the stories of people maimed or killed by errant buses and the like was really gut wrenching. I don't know that any amount of money would really offset the pain and suffering of being hit by a train or bus. However, I think we as citizens need to take a look at something else - how endless "cuts" and funny money silliness by our Legislature and City Hall created some of the problem with short-sighted budget cuts.
Cutting budgets for the short term may allow folks in City Hall a chance to congratulate themselves about a "balanced" budget. If the result of these cuts ends up with the city paying out millions in settlements to cover the cost of injuring and killing people, whatever money that was "saved" is lost. Worse, we're left with the worst of all worlds - less money for safety AND a system that can potentially kill passengers. However, by that time, the city hall folks who made these goofy cuts are long gone, off to greener pastures elsewhere.
Not all accidents can be prevented. If MUNI does its best to make things safer, then at least the exposure of risk to passengers, pedestrians, and everyone on the road is lessened, and we can all go where we need without risk of daily death or mayhem. Besides, I don't wanna write a blog that's all about the latest MUNI crashes and injuries - that is way too depressing.