Simple, Effective Measures to Reduce Bus Collisions at Your Agency

Posted on February 4, 2015 by Louie Maiello - Also by this author

Pargon
Pargon

Are you getting frustrated because — in spite of what you’re doing — collisions are not dropping at your agency? With just a few tweaks, you can make a difference. If you are a chief training officer (CTO), training director, instructor or equivalent at your agency, then this message is for you.

Trainers are the most important link in the training chain. Their decisions are critical in determining whether specific types of collisions spike or head downward.

As the CTO or director are you too comfortable in your belief that “once an instructor always an instructor?” Do you track the decisions that your instructors have made with regard to the collisions and/or incidents that their students may have been involved in during their first 60 days in passenger service after graduation? I say 60 days after graduation because students are usually still performing the way they were taught, the correct way. As you get beyond 60 days, the teachings of their training bus instructor begin to get diluted due to overconfidence and what they may see and hear from others.

One indicator whether an instructor made the right call by qualifying the student into passenger service can come in the form of a high collision rate attributed to the students of a particular instructor and/or an identical type of collision occurring to students that were all trained by that same instructor. If this is the case, then it might be time to move that instructor from training and reassign them with different responsibilities within the department. You can't afford to have a weak link in the chain. It is their primary responsibility to prevent any candidate from advancing into passenger service that will be a risk to the public, the agency and themselves.

Holding instructors accountable — combined with a front-loaded, behind-the-wheel skill development (aka "standardized curriculum" in place) — and a FINAL training day with "automatic disqualifiers" as part of the training program will guarantee a reduction in collisions.

I firmly believe most collisions that occur during the first 60 days after graduation are due to students mistakenly being qualified from the training bus where "automatic disqualifiers" were not in place at the agency. "Automatic Disqualifiers" do not allow that to happen. Simply put, if an automatic disqualifier action is done on the FINAL day of training, that candidate is dismissed. By dismissing, there is no advancement to passenger service and by not being in passenger service, no collision/ incident can occur.  

Lastly, training should not be endless. You train within the allotted training days available in the program. Everyone gets the same opportunity to pass or fail by being held to the same standard.

Start now and begin to reduce collisions.

Louie is the former director of training for the New York City Transit Dept. of Buses Safety & Training Division and 2003 NTI Fellow. Currently, he is sr. consultant/SME in transit training & bus simulation at L-3 D.P. Associates and independent consultant at "Bus Talk" Surface Transit Solutions.

In case you missed it...

Read our previous blog, "How to Develop an Extreme Defensive Driving Program."

View comments or post a comment on this story. (1 Comment)

More Safety Corner Blog Posts

February 13, 2018

Danger Ahead: Sleep Loss, Safety, and You

Sleep loss leading to human fatigue is a serious issue affecting the safety of the traveling public in all modes of transportation. Simply defined, sleep loss is an inability to receive a proper amount and quality of sleep on a regular basis.

February 6, 2018

Training Bus Documentation…Just the Facts, Please!

I will be touching on the importance of proper documentation with regard to the basic skills performance of the student bus operator on the training bus.

December 27, 2017

Add 'Cheese' to Ensure Safe Bus Operations

I suspect you may be wondering what cheese has to do with safety? The connection is not so obvious. At least it wasn’t for me, until Steven Dallman of the Transportation Safety Institute introduced me to the work of Dr. James Reason and his Swiss Cheese Model of system failure.

August 16, 2017

'Practical Drift' is Bus Safety's Silent Adversary

Each year people are injured or killed in incidents where following a standard operating procedure (SOP) or using the available safety equipment could have prevented the injury or saved their life. Unfortunately, we are all prone toward a tendency to gradually drift away from the correct or proper way of doing things — the precise way we were taught to perform a job or function.

June 29, 2017

Addressing sleep apnea in public transit operations

Sleep apnea is a common disorder affecting nearly 12% of the U.S. population, in which airway blockages cause shortened breaths or pauses in breathing while one sleeps.

See More

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (1)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Luxury Coach & Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close