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

May 15, 2018

How Transit Managers Can Stop the Blame Game to Create a Culture of Safety

When a bus is in an accident or experiences a mechanical issue that causes service delays, the incident typically prompts an investigation to determine the root cause, assign blame, and hand down a punishment.

May 1, 2018

Don’t Let Sleepiness Derail Your Health & Safety

A recent CDC analysis found that the jobs with the highest rates of short sleep duration were communications equipment operators (58.2%), other transportation workers (54.0%) and rail transportation workers (52.7%).

May 1, 2018

How to Maximize the Lifecycle of Trains, Infrastructure Safely, Efficiently

Reports of passenger rail accidents dot the news cycle, often citing lack of modernized infrastructure as a leading cause. Despite these facts, it is simply not realistic to expect commuter and subway systems to be overhauled overnight.

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.

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

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation