Boston Duck Tours, Ltd. has agreed to a series of changes in the way it operates its lumbering vehicles in exchange for not having to face criminal charges related to the death of a woman on a scooter last year, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
Among the steps: During the summer, it will keep its amphibious vehicles away from the intersection of Beacon and Charles streets, where Allison Warmuth, 28, died after being hit by one of them. Also, the driver of that vehicle can never get behind the wheel of a Boston Duck Boat again.
Other steps the company agreed to take, at least through 2022: Add a second employee to each tour to deliver the tour spiel drivers used to have to do, install cameras and proximity sensors on vehicles, and barring drivers who rack up two or more moving violations in any calendar year - or in the ten years before they fill out an employment form. Workers will also have to take annual safe driving courses.
The company also agreed to pay $5,000 to the non-profit LivableStreets Alliance.
In considering this resolution, [DA Dan] Conley said, prosecutors considered the relative strengths and weaknesses of evidence admissible at trial, the likelihood of success in light of other motor vehicle homicide prosecutions in Massachusetts, the maximum penalties of a $3,000 fine or house of corrections time available on conviction, the penalties actually imposed by judges in similar cases, and the prospective benefits of the safety and personnel policies the agreement would put in place.
Together, those factors weighed in favor of negotiation. If at any time before 2022 Boston Duck Tours Ltd. intentionally violates any substantive term of the agreement, however, Conley’s office maintains its authority to seek criminal charges.