The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) produced a new on-air public service announcement campaign for New York City Transit buses and the MTA Bus Co. to educate bus customers, pedestrians, and bicyclists about safety on and around buses.

The new video campaign extends the MTA’s ongoing safety initiative to improve bus safety for anyone riding, walking, or cycling near MTA buses and works in conjunction with New York City’s “Vision Zero” program to eliminate traffic fatalities. The MTA has recorded 14% fewer bus collisions involving pedestrians this year, down from the same period a year earlier, and 6% fewer collisions involving bicyclists.

The 30-second public service announcements are part of the MTA’s three-pronged approach to improving bus safety. In addition to raising public awareness of safety issues involving buses, the MTA is testing technology to reduce the likelihood of collisions with pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles, and is also enhancing training for bus operators.

The new announcements echo the message from an MTA’s print campaign that launched earlier in 2014 featuring slogans such as “Watch out – don’t tune out!” reminding customers to stay alert while using electronic devices. That campaign included a bus safety brochure in six languages, three posters and safety messages displayed on the rear of bus seats.

The new PSAs, which will air on local broadcast television stations in both English and Spanish, bring the print campaign to life by demonstrating the dangers of walking or cycling while distracted near a bus. They remind users of electronic devices that it only takes a second of inattention for a pedestrian or cyclist to come in contact with a bus.

In addition to educating its customers through the print and video campaign, the MTA is also improving bus safety by rolling out two proof of concept programs in 2015. One is a pedestrian warning system that will sound an external audio warning when a bus is making a turn. The other proof of concept program is a collision avoidance system that will use multiple on-board sensors such as radar to detect vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, and proactively warn and alert the bus operator of a potentially dangerous situation.

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