How to Develop an Extreme Defensive Driving Program

January 15, 2015

I may be all alone on this one, but I discovered that my kids (who were not allowed to play “shooter” video games) developed a distinct style of driving (and a lot of unsafe habits) while playing their video driving games as pre-teens and young teenagers. In fact, I wound up spending a great deal of my time trying to undo these habits and deep set tendencies while my boys still had their learner's permits.

When Does Technology on Buses Become the Problem?

January 5, 2015

Technology was not in my vocabulary as a kid, but now it's at the front of the line. I’m not saying I’m against it, but could we step back a moment and catch our breath when it comes to technology and bus operations? It seems what used to be a fairly unobstructed view of the road ahead, and to the sides of the bus using simple dashboards and adequately sized mirrors, now appears to resemble a cockpit of the world’s most sophisticated aircraft.

December 22, 2014

Rail safety leader 'honored to be honored'

Congratulations to METRO Magazine on celebrating its 110th year of serving the rail and transit industry! I was excited and, frankly, stunned to learn that I was named one of METRO’s 20 “Most Influential People of the Decade” as part of the magazine’s observance of this milestone. Being included in the company of these well-known and respected transportation professionals and policymakers is a rewarding and humbling experience, and underscores the benefits of working together to further improve the safety and efficiency of public transportation.

November 14, 2014

Are your bus operators square?

If you are in transit, you know this question has nothing to do with lifestyle and everything to do with left hand turns. And in transit, we prefer squares. For the sake of clarity, we are talking about the difference between taking extra care to square off a left-hand turn as opposed to simply rounding the turn. A square turn involves setting up the pivot point of the bus and by its very nature requires the operator to conduct the turn at a much slower rate of speed.

November 3, 2014

Delivering Rail Safety's Message to the Public

The national focus in transit safety has increased, particularly in the wake of several high-profile train collisions on rail transit systems over the last decade. But, it is important to remember that 71% of transit-related fatalities in 2012 were pedestrians, trespassers or occupants of cars that collided with transit vehicles.
October 23, 2014

Deprogramming the New Hire Candidate

Well, another BusCon has come and gone and this year’s gathering was again the place to be. The abundant networking opportunities, the various presentation topics and the industry’s latest offerings made it a win — for all! I would like to thank all of you that were part of the standing room only audience that attended the session given by my colleague Steve Mentzer and I, representing L-3.

September 3, 2014

Learn how to create a comprehensive driver training program

This year I’ve been given the opportunity to present a session with my colleague, Steve Mentzer. Our session will take place on Tuesday morning, Sept. 14 at 8:30 a.m. and is entitled: “Creating a Driver Training Program from Start to Finish.” This discussion will appeal to those of you seeking to create an end-to-end driver training program utilizing an array of resources to bridge all learning modalities.

August 27, 2014

How Operation Lifesaver can help your transit system’s safety program

Transit is one of the safest ways to travel in the U.S. According to the National Safety Council, the lifetime odds of being killed as a rail passenger are 1 in 178,000, compared to the 1 in 415 odds of being killed as an occupant of a passenger car. A closer look at recent transit fatality statistics reveals where the problem areas lie. According to FTA statistics, 262 people died in transit-related incidents in 2012 (not including commuter rail systems, which are regulated by the FRA).
August 13, 2014

How 'Safety Blitzes' Help Test Bus Operators for Compliance

Think of a safety blitz as seeking confirmation that bus operators are in compliance, or non-compliant, with your standard operating procedures during an unannounced "spot check" of a specific skill set. A blitz may also be initiated in response to a sudden spike in unsafe actions being reported, observed or indicated by video review.

July 9, 2014

How to know when your driver trainees are ready to roll

There should come a time during each new student’s training bus instruction, when instructor-led skill development turns to student demonstration and “Show Time” begins. It is during this time the student must perform for the instructor. I call this a “Show Me” day.

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