Safety Crossing the Street: We’re Better Than This
Recently a seventy-year old woman was killed in New York crossing the street with a walker.
The driver of a city bus, returning to his terminal, made a left turn, and reportedly indicated he didn’t see her.
These types of accidents reoccur year after year. They must stop. In the United States of America in 2017, we’re better than this.
Pedestrian fatalities after being struck by buses are not rare. They’ve been happening frequently throughout the country for decades. At least three things contribute to bus/pedestrian types of accidents.
First, design issues:
Most buses have large mirrors and center posts that can obstruct driver views. Design changes can help eliminate these blind spots. But in most cases, bus companies and drivers have to work with what they have. In which case, we need to turn our attention to human factors.
Second, not enough training:
When buses do have the blind spots (and most do), the “rock and roll” technique should be reinforced throughout the county. It simply means drivers must always, let me repeat always, move their head left and right as they turn to see the entire view around mirrors, pillars and fare boxes while rocking their body forward, backward, left, and right.
Third, not enough reinforcement of training and safety communications:
I don’t remember everything I’ve been told and neither does anyone else. The key concepts of safety must be repeated over and over with various methods and media. They must be stressed and the consequences of not following safety guidelines must be quick and effective. The training has to be “sticky,” otherwise how can a driver who went through training 6 years ago be expected to act in specific accordance with defensive driving skills and principles?
In conclusion, it will take resolve and it will take communication. But it can be done. We’re better than this.