Is carrying too many passengers in a vehicle considered negligence per se? I have a bus which has a seating capacity of 30, and that capacity is listed on the vehicle's information plate. The bus also comes with hanging straps and bars in the aisle for more than 30 to ride.
Looked at statutory law (NCGS 20-140,2) which merely addresses overloading to the degree that the driver;s visibility or ability to safely operate are adversely impacted.
In order to constitute negligence per se the statute you are citing must provide for criminal penalties, no just civil. If your statute meets that requirement then you should be able to establish negligence per se.
I guess my concern was if I exceeded the seated capacity (30) which is indicated on the vehicle's information plate from the manufaturer as its rated capacity by allowing several standees to use the strap hangers (also installed by the manufacturer), have I slipped over into the area where I should be comncerned with violating NC's over-crowding statute, and thereby also exposing myself to civil action?
You always have the possibility of civil liability if there is an accident. Remember, there has to be injury for there to be civil libility. You will not get sued for merely driving an overloaded bus.
Former Asst State Attorney/Hearing Officer
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