What happens after buses meet with accidents?

In mid-November, my 14-year-old brother was injured when an SBS Transit bus that he was in collided with an SMRT bus.

The side window of the SBS Transit bus shattered, causing superficial injuries to my brother. However, apart from calling for an ambulance, SBS Transit took no other action or follow-up afterwards.

What procedures and protocols does SBS Transit have in place for handling claims for compensation in such cases? I could not find any conditions of carriage on its website.

If the operator adopts the reimbursement approach, perhaps it might want to consider directly taking on medical claims in straightforward cases, when it is clear that the passenger was not to blame for his injuries.

There should also be a prescribed turnaround time for the bus operator to revert by.

I understand from the Land Transport Authority that claims for compensation are private arrangements between the bus operator and its customers.

However, would it not be prudent for the authorities to be involved to ensure that commuters are not treated unfairly?

Does the LTA look at the claims settlement process as part of its evaluation before awarding licences to bus operators? Is there a minimum service standard operators have to adhere to?

I hope that the authorities would clarify their stand on such matters so the public will know what to expect when taking public transport.

Thoo Sheng Long

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2017, with the headline 'What happens after buses meet with accidents?'. Print Edition | Subscribe