Most transit agencies focus on bus incident preventability, contributing factors: report
Washington – A vast majority of transit agencies track contributing factors of bus incidents and assign incident review boards to determine incident preventability, according to a report published online Feb. 13 by the National Academy of Sciences.
The report, which focused on successful training initiatives, including those for bus operators, features the results of a survey sent to 37 transit agencies in 23 states. The survey found that 92 percent of agencies track contributing factors of incidents, and 94 percent ask incident review boards to determine preventability measures.
Among contributing factors, human error (78 percent) and distractions (73 percent) were most prevalent. Other findings:
- 92 percent of agencies have a distracted-driving policy.
- 92 percent follow bus operator hours-of-service regulations.
- 87 percent have incident review boards.
- 69 percent require bus operators to report over-the-counter medication use.
The study further examined 11 transit agencies from around the nation, as selected from the survey. Each agency practiced the following tactics:
- Enforced distracted-driving/wireless-distraction policies
- Used multiple approaches to address areas of safety concern
- Worked across teams to improve transit safety, as supported by the chief operating officer or general manager
- Conducted thorough incident investigations – which include the use of audio/video recordings – and reported to an incident review board
- Maintained organized protocol for data collection, analysis and review
- Provided regular, extensive training for bus operators and viewed training as vital to safety improvement programs
- Valued the use of onboard video and audio recordings in training and counseling sessions
- Valued the contributions and feedback of employees
In addition, four agencies used telemetric data management systems, which the study termed an increasing industry practice.
“The tools available to agencies that have installed these systems are reported to be highly valuable in increasing overall transit safety through the reduction of safety risks,” the report states. “The availability of data on close calls and near misses, aggressive maneuvering and braking, and seatbelt use (coupled with the highly effective use of videos from these systems) was regarded as central to the success of the case example agencies that used DMSs.”