BUS AND PASSENGER ACCIDENT PREVENTION

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U.S. Department of Transportation

Federal Transit Agency

FTA-MA-26-0010-94-1

DOT-VNTSC-FTA-94-2

BUS AND PASSENGER

ACCIDENT PREVENTION

U.S. Department of Transportation

Research and Special Programs Administration

John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

Cambridge, MA 02142

June 1994 Final Report

Reprint August 1996

HTML Edition March 1999-

 

NOTICE

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship

of the Department of Transportation in the interest of

information exchange. The United States Government

assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof.

NOTICE

The United States Government does not endorse

products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers'

names appear herein solely because they are

considered essential to the objective of this report.

 

PREFACE

Mass transportation systems and specifically bus systems are a key element of the transportation network. While the safety record of bus transit operations has been very good, accidents still continue to occur. The resulting injuries, fatalities and property damage often result in the expenditure of funds which are becoming more scarce in today's society. This document, along with the Bus and Passenger Accident Prevention Seminar, provides guidance on how to prevent accidents through the development and implementation of an accident prevention program. Comprehensive accident prevention programs should save urban, rural and specialized transit systems considerable resources.

This report and the resulting seminar were prepared for the Federal Transit Administration, Office of Technical Assistance and Safety. The authors wish to acknowledge the support and guidance provided by Franz K. Gimmler, Deputy Associate Administrator for Safety, Judy Z. Meade, Deputy Director of Safety, and Roy Field, Transportation Safety Specialist.

The authors also wish to express their special thanks to the following people who assisted in the development of the report and seminar: Lewis Poorman and William Henderson, who provided support and information throughout the process; the North Carolina Department of Transportation, and especially Peter Albrecht, the North Carolina Rural Transportation Assistance Program coordinator, for his cooperation in hosting the pilot program and his insightful comments; and the personnel of the North Carolina transit systems who participated in the pilot training seminar on Bus and Passenger Accident Prevention and offered suggestions that were extremely valuable in the development of this document. Finally, the authors wish to express their appreciation to Elaine Casey for her assistance in editing this report.

 

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE

1.2 BACKGROUND

2. DEVELOPING AN ACCIDENT PREVENTION PROGRAM

2.1 ACCIDENT PREVENTION THROUGH SYSTEM SAFETY

2.2 IMPLEMENTATION OF A SYSTEM SAFETY PROGRAM

2.2.1 System Safety Policy

2.2.2 System Safety Program Plan

2.3 THE PROACTIVE PROCESS

2.3.1 Data From Previous Accidents or Incidents

2.3.2 Judgement by Knowledgeable Individuals

2.3.3 Generic Checklists

2.4.4 FormalAnalssis

3. THE ROLE OF EMPLOYEES AND PATRONS IN BUS ACCIDENT PREVENTION

3.1 SCREENING AND HIRING QUALIFIED PERSONNEL

3.2 ORIENTATION AND TRAINING OF EMPLOYEES

3.2.1 Safety Training for Drivers, Dispatchers and Road Supervisors

3.2.2 Safety Training and Orientation for Maintenance

3.3 PERSONNEL EVALUATION AND TERMINATION PROCESSES

3.3.1 Probationary Period

3.3.2 Annual Evaluations

3.3.3 Employee Personnel File

3.3.4 Discipline and Termination

3.4 PATRON AWARENESS

4. PREVENTING ACCIDENTS IN THE VEHICLE PROCUREMENT PHASE

4.1 VEHICLE INTERIOR

4.1.1 Interior Color Schemes

4.1.2 Lighting

4.1.4 Vehicle Materials Selection

4.1.5 Seat Belts

4.2 VEHICLE ENTRANCES AND EXITS

4.2.1 Design of Handrails and Stanchions

4.2.2 Placement and Positioning of Handrails

4.2.4 Stairwell

4.2.6 Lift Alternatives

4.3 DRIVER'S WORK AREA

4.3.1 Adjustable Driver's Seat

4.3.2 Tilt Steering Wheel

4.3.3 Gauges and Switches

4.3.4 Two-Way Radios

4.4 VEHICLE EXTERIOR

4.4.1 Mirrors

4.4.2 Lighting Packages

4.4.3 Reflective Striping

4.4.4 Energy Absorbing Bumpers

4.4.5 Exterior Color Combinations

4.5 ENGINE COMPARTMENT

4.6 SAFETY SYSTEMS AND DEVICES

5. PROCEDURES TO PREVENT BUS ACCIDENTS

5.1 SAFETY SYSTEM POLICY ISSUES AND PROCEDURES

5.2 PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE

5.3 PRE-TRIP/POST-TRIP INSPECTIONS

5.4 POLICY ISSUES AND PROCEDURES CONCERNING LIFTS

5.5 POLICY ISSUES AND PROCEDURES CONCERNING RESTRAINT AND SECUREMENT DEVICES

6. REFERENCES

APPENDIX A. SAMPLE SAFETY POLICY

APPENDIX B. BUS SAFETY INSPECTION CHECKLIST

APPENDIX C. GENERIC HAZARD CHECKLIST

APPENDIX D. SAMPLE POSITION DESCRIPTION FORM

APPENDIX E. EMPLOYEE SELECTION~RACKING CHECKLIST

APPENDIX F. EMPLOYEE STATUS CHECKLIST

APPENDIX G. VEHICLE DEFECT REPORT

APPENDIX H. MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST

APPENDIX I. VEHICLE SAFETY INSPECTION CHECKLIST

1. INTRODUCTION

A fundamental goal of each transit system is to provide passengers and employees with the highest level of safety that is practical and consistent with the mission of the transit system. Accomplishing this goal with any degree of efficiency requires a transit system to develop and implement a comprehensive safety program. This program should address the three primary safety functions of a transit system, which are as follows: to prevent the occurrence of accidents, to respond to and recover from accidents, and to learn from accidents that have and do occur. This document, prepared under the sponsorship of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), provides guidance on how to develop and implement an accident prevention program for urban, rural, and specialized transit systems.

1.1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE

This report, prepared in conjunction with the Bus and Passenger Accident Prevention Seminar, is intended to serve as a resource to urban, rural and specialized transit operators. It identifies safety issues that must be addressed and resolved in order to provide passengers, employees, and the general public with the highest degree of safety that is practical. Included in this document is guidance on the following safety issues:

  1. Development and implementation of an accident prevention program
  2. Selection, training, evaluation and, if necessary, termination of transit system employees
  3. Promotion of patron safety/awareness
  4. Design options available in the vehicle procurement phase that will prevent accidents
  5. Development of safety policies and procedures

This guidance is intended for those managers, safety directors, operations staff, board members, and state and local officials who are responsible for planning, procuring, equipping, and operating transit systems.

It is important to emphasize that this document does not attempt to prescribe criteria for vehicle purchases, but rather to provide guidelines for the development of a process for discussion of the alternatives available to decision makers. Each decision must be carefully weighed and take into consideration the system's goals, the safety of the system and its passengers, and the availability of limited financial resources. One must realize that accident prevention need not cost additional dollars. The system is already spending "safety dollars" in other areas such as accident claim payments, down-time, worker's compensation, insurance premiums, property damage, and lost ridership dollars.

1.2 BACKGROUND

While the safety record of urban, rural, and specialized bus transit operations, in general, has been very good, accidents that result in fatalities, injuries, and property damage continue to occur. Transit systems utilize scarce funds for costs associated with liability claims; property and equipment damage; the replacement of service, equipment and employees; and the administration of risk management. In addition to these costs, many transit systems also pay insurance premiums and provide a safety and training program. With exception of the safety and training program, the costs associated with accidents utilize funds that could be used to.provide safe and efficient transportation to the transit system passengers and employees.

From the data presented in Reference 1, it can be seen that in 1991 vehicle accidents caused over $26.7 million in property damage to buses and facilities. Furthermore, it is estimated in Reference 2 that in 1991 accidents cost the mass transit industry a minimum of $1 billion.

The implementation of a comprehensive accident prevention program will result in a reduction in accidents, and therefore, a reduction incasualty claim costs, vehicle repair costs, and the cost of insurance premiums. In addition, it will also reduce the number of employee and passenger injuries. A properly designed accident prevention program, after development and implementation, will NOT cost money but save money. At a time when many transit systems are spending approximately five percent of their operating budgets (Reference 3) to pay for related accident costs, a portion of the money saved should be applied to fundinga comprehensive cost-effective safety program and the safety organization necessary to implement it. Such a program can result in vastly improved customer relations by informing customers about steps being taken to improve their safety.

2. DEVELOPING AN ACCIDENT PREVENTION PROGRAM

In some transit systems, the concern for safety and the desire to develop and implement an accident prevention program occurs only in response to an accident. This type of reactive concern is limited in its effectiveness. A more efficient, successful approach to the prevention of accidents involves the establishment of a pro-active safety program that includes the systematic identification of potential accidents and the implementation ofpreventive actions. Preventing the occurrence of accidents requires the identification and resolution of hazards and potentially unsafe conditions. This can be achieved through the adoption and implementation of the system safety concept.

An effective response to accidents can be accomplished through the adoption and implementation of the emergency preparedness concept. Reference 4 provides a detailed discussion of the emergency preparedness concept and instruction on how to develop and implement an emergency plan. The function of recovery from the accident is partially addressed in the emergency response.

Learning from the accident is accomplished through the accident investigation process. At the completion of the investigation, that which has been learned should be integrated into the safety and training program to ensure that the accident does not occur again. The following sections discuss the development and implementation of the system safety concept and program and their important roles in an accident prevention program.

2.1 ACCIDENT PREVENTION THROUGH SYSTEM SAFETY

As stated, a safety program must be proactive, and safety hazards must be identified and resolved prior to the occurrence of accidents. Establishing a proactive safety program can be accomplished through the adoption and introduction of the system safety concept. System safety is defined as the application of special technical and managerial skills to the systematic, forward-looking identification and control of hazards throughout the life cycle of a project, program, or activity (Reference 5). This process spans the entire system life cycle and begins during the acquisition (concept definition, design, construction, and inspection/testing/certification) and operation (operation, training, maintenance, modification, and disposal) phase of the system life cycle.

The advantage of applying the system safety approach is that it provides the opportunity to identify hazards early in the bus system life cycle and then to recommend design and operational modifications necessary to ensure safety. It is significantly less expensive for a bus system to change a specification, design or procedure than it is for that system to modify already constructed facilities or to retrofit vehicles. Doing this prior to system development, construction, and operation will serve to enhance safety and minimize cost.

As applied to transit systems, the focus at this early, pre-production stage is on the prevention of accidents by eliminating and/or controlling safety hazards in a systematic manner. This preventive approach, through the most effective use of resources, will serve to reduce the risks from system hazards to the lowest practical level. Hazards are not accidents. A hazard is any real or potential condition that CAN lead to or cause injury or death; damage to or loss of equipment or property.

It should be noted at the outset that a System Safety Analysis is not the same as Failure Analysis. This distinction is important because a hazard involves the risk of loss or harm, while a failure does not always result in loss or harm.

2.2 IMPLEMENTATION OF A SYSTEM SAFETY PROGRAM

Preventing accidents is the responsibility of all transit system personnel, up to and including the board of directors. The fundamental aim of system safety is to ensure that all transit personnel practice a proactive approach to safety. The system safety programs are established and documented in order to ensure that the safety program is proactive and that all personnel understand and respond appropriately.

The first step in the establishment of the system safety program is obtaining the commitment of the top management of the transit system, beginning with the board of directors. Without the commitment of top management (e.g., the directors and general manager, executive director or president, etc.) such a program cannot be successfully implemented.

Once management commitment is obtained, the safety manager or staff person responsible for coordinating, developing, and implementing the safety program should ensure that it clearly recognizes the safety role and responsibilities of each employee of the transit system. The purpose of the program is to provide the transit system patrons and employees the highest degree of safety possible by minimizing the risks to which they and the equipment are exposed. The safety staff should emphasize this purpose when explaining and justifying to other transit departments their involvement in the system safety program.

When developing and implementing a system safety program, keep in mind that it should accomplish the following:

  • Address all departments within the transit system (safety, operations, maintenance, etc.).
  • Include both patrons and employees in the plan development.
  • Address all of the safety issues associated with the transit system.
  • Provide for and maintain top management and board of directors approval in the form of a signed policy and the allocation of adequate resources.
  • Ensure that the safety director/officer has direct access to top management.
  • Designate one individual as the responsible safety authority for the system.
  • Clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of the safety director/officer and the safety department.
  • Clearly identify the safety roles and responsibilities of all other transit system departments.
  • Establish a proactive safety program with the process and procedures necessary to identify and resolve hazards prior to their resulting in accidents.
  • Include a mechanism for ensuring that all employees are accountable for safety. This must include a disciplinary process.
  • Provide a mechanism for cooperation (including the resolution of differences) between the individual transit system departments and external agencies that support the transit system.
  • Include the establishment and review of data bases to assist in the continuous monitoring of the system safety program to ensure that it is providing the results expected.
  • Prepare a fully documented system safety program plan.

Only if the above items are included in the system safety program can it be expected to provide transit system patrons and employees with the highest degree of safety practicable.

2.2.1 System Safety Policy

The system safety policy statement is the document that the top management of the transit system may use to formally state their commitment to safety. It should be a brief statement of the safety goals and objectives of the transit system. The policy should clearly state that all employees are responsible for the safety of the transit system's patrons and employees, i.e., "SAFETY IS MY RESPONSIBILITY." It should identify one person or position that is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the safety policy and program are implemented. Furthermore, that individual should report to the top management officer. A sample system safety policy is contained in Appendix A. To reinforce management commitment, the policy should be signed by the top management officer in the system (e.g., General Manager, Executive Director, Board of Directors, etc.). It should then be distributed to all employees and posted in visible locations throughout the system.

2.2.2 System Safety Program Plan

The system safety program plan is the written plan that documents the implementationand operation of the system safety program. It is intended to guide the implementation of the program and to document the roles and responsibilities of all individuals and departments within the transit system. Included in this document are the internal and external safety reporting requirements for the transit system.

The system safety program plan should be a dynamic document that is continually referred to and revised as the program is modified. To accomplish this, the plan should be brief and to the point. A long tedious document will not be of assistance to the transit system as people tend not to utilize it after development. An example of the table of contents of a system safety program plan is as follows:

  • Policy and introduction.
  • Brief description of the system.
  • Safety roles and responsibilities of all transit system personnel.
  • Detailed discussion of the role and responsibility of the safety officer and/or department.
  • Process that is employed to be proactive in identifying and resolving hazards.
  • Process for monitoring and revising the system safety program. This should include a schedule for the implementation.

2.3 THE PROACTIVE PROCESS

The identification of hazards and potential accidents is the responsibility of all transit system employees. The mechanism by which potential accidents are identified will, however, differ depending on the roles and responsibilities dedicated to system safety. The safety officer or safety staff should have the primary responsibility and work with other transit system personnel to continually identify and resolve hazards and potential accident conditions.

There are four basic alternative methods of identification that may be employed to identify hazards and potential accidents. These methods are:

  • Examination of data from previous accidents, incidents or operating experience Review of generic hazard checklists
  • Judgement of knowledgeable individuals, i.e., transit personnel, outside experts, etc.; case studies of accidents; scenarios
  • Formal hazard analysis techniques

With the exception of the checklists, the initial step in identifying the hazards in each of these methods is to identify the accident that may result if the hazard(s) is not eliminated or controlled. For the purposes of this discussion, the identified accident events are the safety issues that must be resolved to provide the passengers, employees, and general public with the highest level of safety practical.

2.3.1 Data From Previous Accidents or Incidents

Examination of previous accident/incident experience can provide insight into what has happened in the past. Each transit system should investigate each accident and periodically conduct a detailed examination of their operating experience and accident data. This examination will serve to identify the hazards that led to the accidents and how those hazards may be resolved; thus, preventing future accidents. Failure to review accident history and learn from it will result in a reoccurrence of those accidents. In addition to reviewing the data from your system, you should contact other transit systems to learn from their accident experience.

Identification of hazards through a review of previous accident data or experience is an important step in the resolution of potential safety hazards. However, a review of past accident data does not provide a complete analysis of hazard identification, because the hazards identified will be limited only to those that caused previous accidents. New and potential hazards will not be identified. Furthermore, in the reporting and investigation of accidents, if the pertinent information isn't collected and the incident isn't classified by type and the details of its occurrence, it will not be possible to use the results to improve vehicle procurement, employee selection, operations, or transit safety nationally.

Transit systems should also review their data on "near-misses" and other incidents that did not result in accidents, but easily could have. Research on transit accidents has demonstrated that, for almost every type of accident, there is a recognizable pattern or chain of events leading up to its occurrence. For example, a bus operator with a drinking problem will probably have several "near-misses," minor collisions or other infractions on his/her driving record that suggest the nature of his/her problem. If these records are reviewed, this employee can be identified before a major accident occurs. Likewise, mechanical difficulties, such as failure of a brake light or turn signal, can be discoveredduring an investigation of a "near-miss" before they cause an accident. If a transit system can recognize and respond to these difficulties quickly and efficiently, they can prevent accidents.

The following Table 2-1 lists the types of accidents that were reported in the 1991 Section 15 data (Reference 1).

2.3.2 Judgement by Knowledgeable Individuals

Safety issues and hazards can be identified by transit system personnel and users of the system. Many transit system personnel such as the managers, drivers, supervisors, and dispatchers, as well as transit system patrons, are well aware of existing situations that will result in the occurrence of accidents if not addressed.

TABLE 2-1. TYPES OF ACCIDENTS

TYPE OF ACCIDENT

MOTOR BUS

VAN

POOL

DEMAND

RESP.

LARGE

MEDIUM

SMALL

COLLISION INCIDENTS

VEHICLE

24,696

11,149

2,766

68

587

PEOPLE

913

393

94

1

10

OBJECT

2,000

1,618

724

10

213

NON-COLLISION INCIDENTS

PERSONAL CASUALTIES

ON VEHICLE

6,302

4,293

1,363

2

294

ENTER/EXIT

3,762

2,656

1,078

2

238

LIFTS

51

70

55

0

51

AT STOPS

266

655

214

0

34

VEHICLE FIRES

140

128

29

0

12

BUS GOING OFF ROAD

30

67

20

0

4

Another means of ensuring safety is to have knowledgeable individuals identify accidents that may occur. This will provide a starting point for the identification of the types of "accident events" and emergency situations which can occur. Once these types have been identified, hazard scenarios can be developed to assist in understanding the mechanism by which these accidents occur. The scenarios will provide insight into the chain of events that result in such an accident. Understanding this chain of events will enable the transit system to identify measures they may take to interrupt the chain and prevent the occurrence of the accident.

Also, with some preparation, the transit system can prepare analysis and emergency guidelines for transit personnel and emergency responders in order to minimize in-house work and maximize the use of supplier experts.

2.3.3 Generic Checklists

Checklists are an excellent means to identify potential hazards and, thereby, potential accidents. With this approach, the depth of detail and applicability of the hazard checklists have an impact on the quality and quantity of hazards identified. Appendix B contains a detailed checklist that may be used to develop an inspection and maintenance checklist and procedure. Appendix C contains a checklist that groups hazards within the categories of basic design deficiencies, inherent hazards, malfunctions, maintenance hazards, environmental hazards, and human factors. This checklist will, as the system design evolves, provide additional insight into the safety hazards that may be present in the system.

2.4.4 FormalAnalssis

Several formal analysis methods are available for use in identifying hazards and potential accidents. Transit system operators may require the transit system suppliers/vendors to conduct these analyses on the facilities and equipment they provide. Additionally, most insurance carriers have loss control personnel available to provide assistance, as do many universities, trade groups, and RTAP. Some of the safety analysis techniques that may be used include:

  • Preliminary hazard analysis
  • Subsystem hazard analysis
  • System hazard analysis
  • Operating hazard analysis
  • Fault tree analysis

A thorough discussion of the above analysis methods is contained in Reference 5.

3. THE ROLE OF EMPLOYEES AND PATRONS IN BUS ACCIDENT PREVENTION

The prevention of accidents is the responsibility of every transit system employee, including the Board of Directors. Safety is a daily process that involves planning and foresight rather than reports and reactions after accidents occur. Transit system employees are the key to providing safe transit operations. It has been estimated that approximately 85 percent of all bus accidents each year occur as the result of human error. If a bus system wants to prevent accidents, personnel hiring and training are perhaps the two most important issues to be addressed.

This chapter discusses several requirements bus systems should consider when hiring personnel and designing training programs that will result in accident prevention. It also stresses the importance of refresher and accessibility training and contains a section on ways in which to train patrons to improve their awareness and safety.

3.1 SCREENING AND HIRING QUALIFIED PERSONNEL

Transit employees, especially individuals hired to assist and transport passengers, play a crucial role in providing safe transportation. Quite often, it may be difficult to hire employees who are motivated and dedicated because of low wage rates or the location of the transit system. This may be especially true of small systems, those lacking funds, or systems in rural areas. The ability of the employee to perform job duties effectively and safely often becomes secondary. In adopting this approach the system may be putting the employee, the passenger, and the fiscal integrity of the system at risk.

Before a transit system decides upon its criteria for hiring personnel, the system needs to determine exactly what services it requires of its personnel, and exactly what level of skill is necessary to perform those services. Most transit systems have minimum standards for the physical and mental capabilities of applicants. In addition, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that capability standards be based on the performance and duties required by a specific position and not on the physical and mental capabilities of the person. Transit personnel, especially bus operators and dispatchers, must have certain skills in order to successfully perform their jobs. Requiring the presence of these skills does not violate state or federal laws. However, when establishing such criteria the following conditions must be followed:

  • The physical and mental criteria used by the transit system are proven job-related or required by law, such as CDL.
  • Any testing utilized to determine physical or mental capacities of the applicants must be proven to accurately measure those functions which are job-related, i.e., the test cannot just test reading ability.
  • All required tests are given to all prospective employees within that job classification.
  • The position requirements and the skills required to perform them are stated clearly in the transit agency's personnel policies. These requirements must be applied equally to all driver candidates.
  • Transit systems should use a specific doctor or group of doctors to give all driver physicals. This ensures that a consistent and legitimate physical is provided. Transit systems can establish with the doctor the appropriate physical for the driver if the DOT physical is not used.
  • Due to the aging process, the transit system may want to establish additional components to the physical for all drivers after the age of 45.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) clearly allows for pre-employment physical examinations of drivers or others holding safety sensitive positions.

All positions within the transit system should have written job descriptions which conform to ADA requirements (Appendix D). Although the development of job descriptions is not specifically required by the Act, it is one of the best ways to document efforts to meet the ADA Title 1 - Employment Compliance. Job descriptions should be reviewed and developed prior to advertising the position or interviewing applicants.

  • Examination of the position duties and objectives is crucial in order to make a determination of the qualifications required to perform the essential job functions.
  • Identification of the non-essential functions. Non-essential functions are those tasks being performed by the "incumbent" in the position that are not specifically required by the position or that could be re-assigned to other transit personnel or positions.
  • Establishment of measurable job standards for each position is necessary for objective and appropriate evaluation. The job standards must relate to the essential job functions.
  • Identification of the critical skills and experience necessary for the performance of the essential job functions.
  • Development of job related criteria may be assisted by using the system's Advisory Board, composed of disabled riders.

Because of the safety sensitive nature of their operations, transit systems need to make certain that their personnel are not working under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Thus, when screening applicants, evidence of drug or alcohol use should never be overlooked, Each transit agency should have a written drug/alcohol policy (as prescribed by the Federal Transit Administration) that covers the use of both illegal and prescription drugs, as well as the use of alcohol. This policy should also clearly identify the authority of the transit agency to screen employees in safety sensitive positions for drug and/or alcohol use randomly, or with probable cause. The policy should also clearly detail the consequences of positive drug/alcohol tests under each phase; i.e., screening, annual, random, or probable cause. Care must be taken to utilize a certified drug testing facility as required by FTA/FHWA regulation. At a minimum, all procedures must follow the new regulations. For transit systems in areas over 200,000 population one year is allowed, following the final rule, for implementation of the alcohol rules and six months for the new drug regulations. For those areas under 200,000 population the implementation period is slightly longer; two (2) years for alcohol and one (I) year for drug regulations. Those individuals who are recovering from alcohol and substance abuse and are involved in a recovery program are covered under ADA. Therefore, one must be cautious about making any arbitrary decision eliminating individuals from the hiring process due to a previous history of drug and/or alcohol abuse.

When reviewing the applicant's driving record, the transit system needs to have a policy that states clearly which driving offenses are acceptable to the system (i.e., parking tic-kets) and which are not (i.e., reckless driving). The policy should also state any relevant penalties or sanctions such as ineligibility for hiring or termination. Many transit systems set a "combination" requirement such as, "No more than three moving violations and/or avoidable accidents in a three year period" for new hires as well as incumbent personnel. This policy should also state the amount of time necessary for an old offense to be eliminated from the transit system evaluation of the driving record (usually five to eight years depending on the offense). Normally, transit systems do not hire drivers with DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) or reckless driving tickets within the previous five years. Finally, this policy must establish the official procedure through which driving records, licenses and certificates are obtained, verified and evaluated in pre-employment screenings and annual reviews.

Many states require transit systems to search the records of their applicants for felony convictions of abuse, crimes against the vulnerable (whether child or adult/elderly), or felony drug charges. The system should set a time limitation (eight years is the standard amount of time used at many transit systems) for how far back it will search federal and state records for felony convictions. As with all other restrictions on hiring, any restrictions concerning the hiring of convicted felons should be clearly stated in the transit agency's personnel policy. Special consideration should be taken to determine that obtaining felony conviction records is not a violation of state laws. A transit agency may only request a conviction record, not an arrest record.

Another consideration of many transit systems is the age of the applicant and the number of years of driving experience he or she may possess. Many transit agencies require a minimum of five years of driving experience before an applicant can even submit an application. This means that the minimum age of a driver is twenty-one. With this inclusion in the policy, transit systems often feel assured of a more stable work force. The following is a checklist of important requirements for which applicants must be reviewed:

    • Physical and mental qualifications of applicant
    • Can the applicant pass the DOT physical?
    • Are there any physical conditions that will inhibit job performance?
      • Black outs
      • Heart conditions
      • Diabetes requiring insulin
      • Disabilities that inhibit the ability to drive and assist passengers in the manner required by the system and ADA
      • Visual impairment, i.e., color blindness/inadequate night vision
      • Hearing impairment
    • Can the applicant over 45 pass additional tests, i.e., stress/EKG's or reflexive response tests?
    • Applicant's use of drugs and alcohol
    • Has the applicant passed a drug/alcohol screen?
    • Does the applicant use prescription drugs? if so, what kind? Does it affect his or her ability to drive?
    • Does the applicant have a record of alcoholism or excessive drinking? Recovering or active user?
    • Applicant's motor vehicle record
    • Is the license free of alcohol-related or serious moving violations, i,e., reckless driving, careless driving?
    • If not, how long has it been since the last serious infraction?
    • How many speeding tickets does the applicant have on record?
    • Felony conviction record search
    • Does the applicant have a felony on record? if so, what type of crime did he or she commit, and how long ago was the conviction?
    • Minimum age requirement
    • Since you can not ask the age of the applicant, you can set a minimum standard by asking how long has the applicant been driving consistently?
    • The transit system may require a minimum of five years of driving experience which establishes a minimum age of 21.
    • Personality/attitude
    • Does the applicant appear to possess the ability/attitude necessary to follow procedures (especially those concerning passengers with disabilities) in a caring and supportive manner?

    Appendix E provides a sample checklist for tracking the employee selection process.

    3.2 ORIENTATION AND TRAINING OF EMPLOYEES

    Even when the best personnel have been hired, a comprehensive orientation and training program is necessary to assist in achieving the safety and operating goals of the transit system. Effective orientation and training programs should provide the driver with all of the skills and information he or she will need to respond to daily, unknown and/or unexpected events. A strong base of knowledge will assist the employee in effectively preventing accidents or responding to accidents that do occur.

    Basic training issues that the transit system must address when developing and implementing employee training programs include the following:

    • What orientation and training will be required for new employees and existing employees? Basic training requirements must be established.
    • Will refresher training be required, and if so how frequently?
    • Will the transit system perform the training or will it be performed elsewhere?
    • How will testing be accomplished and what is pass-fail criteria?
    • What percentage of training is devoted to classroom versus on-the-road training?
    • What process is used to ensure that training is provided for new vehicles or vehicle retro-fits that affects safety-related equipment and operations?
    • What printed text and materials will be given to each trainee? Providing individual materials is preferable, however, a lending library should be available if this becomes cost prohibitive.

    3.2.1 Safety Training for Drivers, Dispatchers and Road Supervisors

    Training should prepare a driver for typical hazards that will be encountered. This includes identification of the conditions that lead to hazards; the nature of the hazards; clues that signal an impending hazard; actions that can break the chain of events leading to an accident; and the specific skills and actions that must be performed by the trainee, Furthermore, the trainee must understand how these actions increase safety so that he or she can directly evaluate the effectiveness of various options during a crisis situation. Issues specific to the vehicle operation that should be addressed in driver training

    programs include the following:

    • General orientation to system, policies and procedures.
    • Federal, state and local safety rules and regulations including OSHA, state safety belt and right to know laws.
    • Familiarization with transit system properties and the local area; route training; location of fire, police and medical facilities; supervisory notification.
    • Use and adjustment of operator's seat, seat belt, mirrors, sun visor, windshield wipers, etc.
    • Vehicle pre-trip and post-trip inspections.
    • Safe operation and limitations of brakes, doors, door interlocks, kneeling system, wheelchair lift, etc.
    • Proper use of communications systems.
    • Safe acceleration/deceleration rates.
    • Safe driving practices, traffic hazards, evasive maneuvers, target fixation, threshold braking. (Classroom defensive driving is not sufficient.)
    • Night, expressway and severe weather driving conditions.
    • Transit system emergency procedures.
    • Operator's obligations under ADA.

    Driver training issues directly related to passenger safety include the following:

    • The causes of on-board passenger injuries and how to minimize them (i.e., slip and falls, sudden stops, etc.)
    • Understanding of the physical limitations of the employee (ergometric), elderly and disabled passengers (i.e., sensitivity training)
    • It should be noted that ADA requires transit systems to document the achieved proficiency level of operators upon completion of sensitivity training and how their proficiency was determined. Pass/fail tests are an effective gauge of competence if the test measures the proficiency of the required task. Refresher training is also mandated to insure retention of required proficiency.
    • Bus overcrowding
    • First aid and CPR
    • Passenger Assistance Techniques - training materials which provide appropriate physical assistance methods
    • On-board altercations and appropriate actions by the driver
    • Passenger illness
    • Accidents and incidents
    • The role and responsibilities of the operator in emergency situations
    • Emergency/standard operating procedures for collisions, fire, etc.
    • Passenger Evacuation Procedures
    • Location and use of emergency exits and equipment
    • How to complete accident/incident forms
    • Bus stop safety concerns
    • Other issues identified by Disabled Advisory Committee/Project Action
    • Lift operations, including how to operate the manual "back-up" system if the power source should fail
    • Wheelchair securement and passenger restraints

    Appendix F presents a checklist that may be employed to assist in tracking an employee's status.

    3.2.2 Safety Training and Orientation for Maintenance

    The safety orientation and safety training of maintenance employees should include the

    following:

    • Familiarization with shop and overall facility
    • Emergency evacuation plan
    • Management policies
    • Scope and objectives of bus maintenance program
    • Applicable federal, state, local, and transit system rules and regulations, including ADA, EPA, OSHA
    • Use and care of personal protective equipment
    • Safe operation and maintenance of on-board bus equipment
    • Communications equipment
    • Safe operation of shop tools and equipment
    • Emergency/road call procedures
    • Drug/alcohol use policy
    • Hazardous waste disposal procedures, spill containment and reporting
    • Maintenance documentation requirements and procedures
    • Operational safety issues, i.e., blood-borne pathogens, right-to-know
    • Proper preventative maintenance procedures for lift equipment and other items provided for accessibility

    3.3 PERSONNEL EVALUATION AND TERMINATION PROCESSES

    The transit system should have a written policy and procedure addressing the process, schedule, and criteria on which an employee's job performance is to be evaluated. These criteria should objectively evaluate job performance, not "subjective aspects of personality." Employee performance evaluations should NEVER be a surprise.

    3.3.1 Probationary Period

    During the employee's probationary period, several evaluations should be conducted with the individual and his or her immediate supervisor. These evaluations should state not only what the individual is doing well, but also what items need improvement and specific dates for courses of action to be taken to meet the agency standard. (If you have a six-month probationary period, an evaluation every 45 days would be helpful and appropriate.) This should include observation of the employee in the work situation. Training provided to the employee should be correlated to performance requirements and documented.

    3.3.2 Annual Evaluations

    Annual evaluations are equally as important. If supervisors are coaching and working with employees on a continual basis, evaluations should only reflect what has transpired and what is expected during the next year. Evaluations should reflect those items that need improvement, necessary corrective methods or procedures, and a review time-line. Evaluations should not be a "surprise." It is highly recommended that evaluations NOT coincide with pay increases.

    3.3.3 Employee Personnel File

    A personnel file should be maintained for each employee. This file is private and should be viewed and revised only by authorized personnel as stated within the personnel policy. Employees may view their own file under supervision, but should not be able to remove or copy items out of the file. Suggested items to be assembled into the file include the following:

    • Driver's application, including references
    • All previous evaluations
    • All training courses taken, dates and results of tests
    • Copies of license checks and current license
    • Medical exams
    • Written reprimands, commendations
    • Written or documented verbal passenger compliments or complaints
    • Accident history
    • Other items required by state or federal law

    3.3.4 Discipline and Termination

    Every agency should have a written discipline policy with informal and formal verbal and written documentation of offenses and corrective action. Unfortunately, not all employees are able to perform job functions to the level required by the system. A written progressive process for the discipline and/or termination of employees is essential. Employees performing in an unsatisfactory manner, even after assistance by the supervisor, should be terminated for the safety and effectiveness of the system.

    3.4 PATRON AWARENESS

    Each transit system should develop a means by which it can communicate important safety information to its patrons. Formal announcements on bus public address systems or advertisements on buses or billboards provide economical ways in which the transit system can inform patrons of new services, delays or safety problems.

    Patrons with disabilities can be trained to use the transit system safely and effectively. By dispatching buses with lifts to homes of persons with disabilities and to senior citizen centers, the transit system can train a large number of people on lift boarding and de-boarding in only a few hours. Buses can also be sent to schools to train young children in riding the bus, paying the fare, and reading the bus schedule.

    In many communities other agencies may offer travel training for their clients. Where this occurs there needs to be a coordinated joint effort between the transit system and these organizations. This will help ensure that safety issues will be adequately addressed.

    4. PREVENTING ACCIDENTS IN THE VEHICLE PROCUREMENT PHASE

    Making safety a priority during vehicle procurement is essential to eliminating potential hazards. When designing vehicle specifications for procurement, the removal of potential safety hazards, and resulting accidents, can be accomplished for little or no cost. The identification and resolution of hazards is especially important in the procurement of vehicles with features for passengers with disabilities; features that, in order to be safe, must be completely compatible with the other equipment used by the transit system. Too often the focus of vehicle procurement is on the aesthetics of the vehicle. The desire of every transit system to attract passengers with visually appealing features often results in an inordinate amount of effort being spent specifying items that enhance the appearance of the vehicle. This effort and its accompanying resources should be directed at determining what effects varying vehicle specifications will have on the safety and well-being of the passengers.

    4.1 VEHICLE INTERIOR

    The vehicle interior is as important to accident prevention as any other area of the vehicle. Yet, because of preconceived notions limiting its significance to accidentprevention, safety aspects of the vehicle interior are often ignored. Slips, trips and falls occur in vehicles frequently. When these passenger injuries are combined with those injuries from interior vehicle fires and accessibility equipment failures, it becomes apparent that a significant proportion of accidents on a transit system occur in the vehicle. In addition, many injuries reported by bus operators occur because of poor driver seat selection, failed accessibility equipment, and exposed protruding edges in the driver's area. The following section discusses hazard identification and resolution during the procurement of the vehicle interior.

    4.1.1 Interior Color Schemes

    Interior vehicle colors are often selected to provide a pleasant and soothing atmosphere for the passenger. However, some color coordination that concentrates on certain colors or color combinations may increase the number of passengers who slip or fall.

    Green, blue, and brown are the colors used most frequently by transit systems. People who are color blind or have other visual impairments may have difficulty with these colors. Visually impaired passengers can most easily distinguish colors in the yellow-red-orange spectrum. By using bright, contrasting colors on the floor, seats and walls, passengers can move within the vehicle and seat themselves more easily and safely. Carefully harmonized colors can blend the outlines and positions of the seats, and may confuse visually impaired persons. Alternately, bright contrasting colors can improve the passenger's depth perception.

    Many other colors and the shades or shading in which they are used will influence passenger visibility. Red, green and blue in certain shades (especially pastels) are the most difficult to distinguish. Yellow and red combinations (as well as blue and green) are often difficult for color blind people to differentiate. Contrasting colors between seat backs and floors allow passengers to readily find a point to grab preventing or minimizing falls.

    4.1.2 Lighting

    The positioning and intensity of the lighting inside the vehicle is important to reduce and minimize shadow effects. Careful consideration should be given to the intensity of the lighting needed for the interior vehicle colors and the type of seats, as well as to the purpose of lighting. For example, if a transit system wanted to provide enough light for passengers to be able to read, single focus lights such as those used in intercity buses and airplanes would be more appropriate than overhead lighting. Whatever special functions may be designed into a bus lighting system, all lighting systems must clearly illuminate the aisle and seat area.

    Proper illumination will also assist the driver in being able to see clearly all passengers and detect any possible problems they may be experiencing. Lighting and coloring are crucial safety elements in vehicle specification development.

    Seats for vehicles come in various styles and heights. In selecting seats, a transit system must first evaluate the needs of its passengers. The seat requirements for specialized transit systems may differ from the requirements of the typical transit user or for passengers utilizing commuter lines. The following tables (Table 4-1 and 4-2), present the advantages and disadvantages of high-backed and low-backed seats.

    TABLE 4-1. HIGH-BACKED SEATS

    ADVANTAGES

    DISADVANTAGES

    Perception of comfort.

    More support for head and neck.

    Provides grips for passengers moving

    through the vehicle.

    Less comfortable for large-size riders.

    Limits driver's view of passengers.

    During accident passengers may impact

    seatback.

    Furthermore, the rear wheelchair securement position on many vehicles does not permit the passenger in a wheelchair a sufficient view of on-coming traffic; thus, it is difficult to anticipate a sudden stop or collision. High-backed seats also interfere with the wheelchair user or anyone else being able to anticipate a sudden stop,

    TABLE 4-2. LOW-BACKED SEATS

    ADVANTAGES

    DISADVANTAGES

    Driver can view all passengers.

    Seats can be adapted with handgrips to provide stability to passengers moving through the aisle.

    No support for head or neck.

    Less comfortable.

    Use of a grab bar on the back of a seat may be a useful alternative to a high-backed seat because it affords the passenger on the outside seat a secure grip. Grips with metal rods extend the length of the seat back to ensure strength. If padding is used it should be bonded to the metal base to minimize slippage.

    4.1.4 Vehicle Materials Selection

    The materials used in transit vehicle construction can cause an accident or contribute to the severity of any accident which does occur. The occurrence and effects of accidents involving fire and smoke as well as patron slip and fall accidents may be minimized through the selection of the proper vehicle materials. Certain seat fabrics, for example, have a low coefficient of friction and increase the likelihood of sliding off a seat if passengers are not using a seat belt. Plush seats have a very high coefficient of friction making it difficult to slide off the seat. However, this friction causes great difficulties for those individuals transferring from a wheelchair to a seat.

    4.1.4.1 Fire Safety - The fire safety of transit vehicles is a major concern that must be addressed in the selection of vehicle materials. Selecting vehicle materials that minimize flammability, smoke and toxic fume emission will allow employees and passengers more time to exit the vehicle; thus enhancing the safety of the vehicle. To address this issue the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has issued for comment, in the Federal Register, proposed "Recommended Fire Safety Practices for the Selection of Transit Bus and Van Materials." These "Recommended Practices" provide performance requirements for the non-metallic materials used in transit vehicles. Toxicity is not addressed directly in the "Recommended Practices." However, the selection of materials meeting FTA recommendations for flammability and smoke emission characteristics will minimize the presence of toxic gases.

    - The fire safety of transit vehicles is a major concern that must be addressed in the selection of vehicle materials. Selecting vehicle materials that minimize flammability, smoke and toxic fume emission will allow employees and passengers more time to exit the vehicle; thus enhancing the safety of the vehicle. To address this issue the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has issued for comment, in the Federal Register, proposed "Recommended Fire Safety Practices for the Selection of Transit Bus and Van Materials." These "Recommended Practices" provide performance requirements for the non-metallic materials used in transit vehicles. Toxicity is not addressed directly in the "Recommended Practices." However, the selection of materials meeting FTA recommendations for flammability and smoke emission characteristics will minimize the presence of toxic gases.

    4.1.4.2 Slip and Fall Accidents - In addition to the potential for fire, transit systems must also consider other safety hazards associated with vehicle materials. Floor and step coverings are a major source of passenger "slip and fall" accidents. These accidents may occur when passengers slip or trip on steps, the bus floor or the floor covering. The proper selection of floor covering materials and their maintenance are vital to minimizing accidents. Several types of non-skid materials are available and should be employed in the vehicle to minimize the probability of slip and fall accidents. Inspection of the condition of the floor should be included in the daily pre-check of the vehicle. This inspection should cover debris such as loose paper, tears in the floor or aisle covering, worn areas, and moisture. A program for on-going preventative maintenance of the interior of a vehicle will reduce passenger injuries. The following suggestions should help transit systems reduce the number of passenger slips and falls inside the transit vehicle:

    - In addition to the potential for fire, transit systems must also consider other safety hazards associated with vehicle materials. Floor and step coverings are a major source of passenger "slip and fall" accidents. These accidents may occur when passengers slip or trip on steps, the bus floor or the floor covering. The proper selection of floor covering materials and their maintenance are vital to minimizing accidents. Several types of non-skid materials are available and should be employed in the vehicle to minimize the probability of slip and fall accidents. Inspection of the condition of the floor should be included in the daily pre-check of the vehicle. This inspection should cover debris such as loose paper, tears in the floor or aisle covering, worn areas, and moisture. A program for on-going preventative maintenance of the interior of a vehicle will reduce passenger injuries. The following suggestions should help transit systems reduce the number of passenger slips and falls inside the transit vehicle:
    • Linoleum and/or indoor-outdoor carpeting can become dangerous when wet. Slippery floor conditions increase the potential for passenger accidents, especially for passengers with balance problems or those using assistive devices such as canes, crutches, etc.
    • "Transit mid-aisle mat" materials also need to be evaluated. The grooved surface collects dust, dirt, moisture and other debris. This surface may become slippery. The rubber tips on crutches may slide out from under the user more easily on such surfaces.
    • Vehicle maintenance should provide for a thorough and regular cleaning of vehicle surfaces and floors. Fine sand and dust are almost as treacherous as moisture.

    In addition to the floor covering, other interior vehicle areas should be reviewed to assure that a person who slips or falls will not be injured on a sharp edge or unpadded surface. Slips and falls are, as shown in Reference i, a major category of transit accident. Reference ~ provides an insight into the falling accidents that may occur in transit facilities.

    4.1.5 Seat Belts

    Although the use of seat belts within transit vehicles has been controversial for several years, their use is important, especially when transporting the elderly, passengers withdisabilities and young passengers. Due to balance problems, slow reaction time, or an inability to brace themselves sufficiently, these passengers may slide off seats in the moving vehicle. This is especially true during acceleration and deceleration, cornering, or any evasive maneuvers performed by the bus operator. Seat belts properly used by such passengers could prevent these accidents.

    If a vehicle has been involved in a moderately severe collision in which seat belts were used, the seat belts and/or wheelchair securement belts should be replaced, The webbing may stretch and take a more or less permanent set, thus losing the elasticity so important for proper shock absorption.

    All seat belts and restraint straps should be regularly inspected for wear and damage. Drivers tend to be careless about allowing passengers to step on or roll over the straps. If ratchet type hardware is used it is doubly important to inspect webbing for frayed edges that can lead to premature failure of wheelchair securement straps. Inspection of all belts should be part of the

    preventive maintenance program and conducted at specified intervals. The following paragraphs discuss several issues related to seat belts.

    4.1.5.1 Seat Belt Length - Seat belt length can often be a problem, as passengers vary in size. As a general rule, special extra long seat belts can be installed in the vehicle. Theselonger belts would preclude the need for extenders. These belts are also generally long enough to secure a child restraining device. It is more cost effective to specify extra length seat belts during the procurement process rather than attempting to install them after the vehicle has arrived. Seat belt extenders such as those used by the airlines could be kept onboard for use as needed. This would eliminate the need for long belts and retractors.

    - Seat belt length can often be a problem, as passengers vary in size. As a general rule, special extra long seat belts can be installed in the vehicle. Theselonger belts would preclude the need for extenders. These belts are also generally long enough to secure a child restraining device. It is more cost effective to specify extra length seat belts during the procurement process rather than attempting to install them after the vehicle has arrived. Seat belt extenders such as those used by the airlines could be kept onboard for use as needed. This would eliminate the need for long belts and retractors.

    4.1.5.2 Seat Belt Type - Retractable seat belts are recommended, especially when using extra long belts. By retracting the belts, the potential for a passenger tripping over the seat belt is minimized. Also, clean seat belts are more likely to be used by the passengers. The 1986 Bus Guideline Specifications recommend against the use of inertial seat belt retractors because they often fail to latch properly. However, with technological improvements, using seat belt retractors is still recommended.

    - Retractable seat belts are recommended, especially when using extra long belts. By retracting the belts, the potential for a passenger tripping over the seat belt is minimized. Also, clean seat belts are more likely to be used by the passengers. The 1986 Bus Guideline Specifications recommend against the use of inertial seat belt retractors because they often fail to latch properly. However, with technological improvements, using seat belt retractors is still recommended.

    4.1.5.3 Seat Belt Installation - Vehicle specifications should prescribe how seat belts must be installed. It is recommended that the seat belt mounting be bolted with graded bolts through the steel plates within the sub-flooring, not just through the plywood floor of the vehicle. Review the pertinent state laws and local ordinances for any additional requirements. Proper installation of passenger restraint systems is paramount in an accident prevention program. Always install in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.

    - Vehicle specifications should prescribe how seat belts must be installed. It is recommended that the seat belt mounting be bolted with graded bolts through the steel plates within the sub-flooring, not just through the plywood floor of the vehicle. Review the pertinent state laws and local ordinances for any additional requirements. Proper installation of passenger restraint systems is paramount in an accident prevention program. Always install in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.

    4.1.5.4 Child Seats/Restraints - Most states require children to be secured in an approved child restraint system if the child is under 4 years of age, under 4 feet tall, or under 40 Ibs in weight. Even if the state does not require child restraints, child restraints do reduce the severity of accidents involving children falling off seats.

    - Most states require children to be secured in an approved child restraint system if the child is under 4 years of age, under 4 feet tall, or under 40 Ibs in weight. Even if the state does not require child restraints, child restraints do reduce the severity of accidents involving children falling off seats.

    There are various types of seats available to the industry. For maximum versatility, seats that will not only accommodate infants but older children as well should be considered. The use of dual purpose seats will reduce the capital cost to the system. The use of child restraint seats for infants and children will lower the costs associated with accidents.

    The ADA rules appear silent on two important safety areas. The first is whether systems must provide approved child safety seats, especially when transporting disabled children.The second is the issue of minimum age requirements for children, and especiallydisabled children, who are traveling unaccompanied. Therefore, the transit system should consider these issues and institute policies and procedures appropriate to the passengers' needs, the system's needs, and state and local laws and regulations. To use only seat belts can be dangerous. Passenger restraint anchors are set for adults, thus when restraints (seat belts) are placed on a child, the child can readily slide from under the device. Other than having designated child seats, there appears to be no good solution to this particular problem with available technology.

    4.1.5.5 Mobility Aid Securement Devices - There are many mobility aid securement devices designed to secure a mobility aid (wheelchair, 3-wheel electric scooter, etc.) in a vehicle. Unfortunately, no single securement system will accommodate all types and variations of mobility aid. Transit systems must investigate carefully the securement devices that will secure the greatest number of mobility aids utilized within their systems. Most securement devices can be divided into two broad categories:

    - There are many mobility aid securement devices designed to secure a mobility aid (wheelchair, 3-wheel electric scooter, etc.) in a vehicle. Unfortunately, no single securement system will accommodate all types and variations of mobility aid. Transit systems must investigate carefully the securement devices that will secure the greatest number of mobility aids utilized within their systems. Most securement devices can be divided into two broad categories:
    • Back wheel securement device
    • 3-4 point securement

    The advantages and disadvantages of these two categories of securement are presented in Tables 4-3 and 4-4.

    TABLE 4-3. BACK WHEEL SECUREMENT DEVICE

    (Crab claws, pin and levers, etc.)

    ADVANTAGES

    DISADVANTAGES

    Requires less effort from the bus driver to secure. Many passengers can secure their own mobility devices.

    Limits the number of mobility devices that can be secured. The wheel securement device may not grab large, pneumatic tires or the small tires on some electric wheelchairs.

    It is possible that the back wheel securement device could "let go" in an accident situation or evasion maneuver. This form of securement places much stress on the device, and they have "popped" open under accident conditions.

    Wheel damage may occur (i.e., a wheel coming out of round due to the movement allowed even with the brakes set), and the devices can also break spokes.

    Although these securements can no longer be used under ADA, many transit systems are currently utilizing them. Due to the accident potential, systems may want to consider replacing the wheel lock securement.

    TABLE 4-4. 3-4 POINT SECUREMENT

    (Long webbing belts)

    ADVANTAGES

    DISADVANTAGES

    Accommodates the largest number of mobility aid devices. If installed properly, the belts should hold the mobility device firmly in the event of an accident.

    Requires substantial amount of effort from driver. Driver will need training in how to wrap and secure belts on various devices. Passenger in mobility aid cannot secure himself.

    Requires several minutes to secure mobility aid, as opposed to the much quicker securement of the back wheel device.

    Driver may have difficulty bending and stretching in tight space allocated to the securement area; thus giving rise to back complaints and invasion of personal space while securing devices.

    Lap belts also should be used for passengers in mobility devices, regardless of the securement system installed by the transit system. A lap belt must be separate from the securement devices for the mobility device. The lap belt or lap belt-shoulder harness combination will protect the passenger and reduce the potential severity of an injury as a result of being thrown out of the device in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, the current technology available for mobility device securement often forces a trade-off between increased demands on the driver and better securement for the passenger in the mobility device.

    ADA requires only specified types of securement devices be purchased after January 26, 1992. Three and four point securement devices are now required. Only those systems which allow a maximum of two inches of movement in any direction during the normal vehicle operations are allowed. It should be noted that in 1980, Minnesota passed a law requiring securement devices to only allow 1/4 inch movement in any direction to ensure the safety of the passenger. The only securement devices able to meet this stringent requirement were three and four point securement devices.

    For vehicles with 30,000 or above gross vehicle weight (GVW), the securement must restrain a force in a forward longitudinal direction of 2,000 pounds per securement leg or clamping device and a minimum of 4,000 pounds for each mobility device. For vehicles of under 30,000 GVW, it must restrain up to 2,500 pounds per securement leg or a minimum of 5,000 pounds for each mobility device.

    ADA only permits forward facing securement positions. Each position must have a clear floor area of 30 inches by 48 inches. Not more than 6 inches of the required clear floor space may be accommodated for the footrests under another seat, and then, only if there is a minimum of 9 inches from the floor to the lowest part of the seat. (It must be noted that the passengers' chins are vulnerable to injury.)

    With the mandate of forward facing positions, wheelchair passengers may be trapped and prevented from getting out of their wheelchairs unaided during an evacuation emergency. Rear facing positions are only permitted if a padded barrier is provided. Increasing the clear floor space envelope for mobility aids, especially the clearance between wheelchairs or the wheelchair and seat in front of it, is important and advisable. Transit systems must also be prepared to train operators in securing non-traditional mobility aids including orthopedic strollers, etc. Such training should include the basic mechanical principles of safe securement and restraint.

    A wheelchair securement device, a passenger seat belt, and a shoulder harnessconforming to part 571 of ADA Rules, must also be provided and used.

    4.2 VEHICLE ENTRANCES AND EXITS

    Passenger injuries frequently occur when entering and exiting the vehicle. Six to eight percent of all non-collision accidents involve the boarding and exiting of passengers. The number of injuries can be minimized through the appropriate design of entrances and exits. Proper design and placement of handrails and stanchions will assist passengers in entering and exiting the vehicle. Specifications of exit/entrance should meet emergency evacuation needs. Avoid specifying vehicles with only a single entry/exit door.

    4.2.1 Design of Handrails and Stanchions

    The basic shapes of handrails are round or oval. Both types of handrails are generally constructed of stainless steel. Each shape has advantages and disadvantages that are listed in Tables 4-5 and 4-6.

    TABLE 4-5. ROUND HANDRAILS

    ADVANTAGES

    DISADVANTAGES

    Easily available, standard issue.

    People with arthritis or other hand-gripping impairments have difficulty gripping the handrail.

    Most hands will slip on round rails.

    Persons with artificial hands or arms have difficulty making the prosthesis "grip" the round rail.

    TABLE 4-6. OVAL HANDRAILS

    ADVANTAGES

    DISADVANTAGES

    The oval shape requires less gripping ability for the passenger to remain stable.

    The oval shape can be "gripped" by an artificial arm or hand more easily.

    An oval rail requires significantly less space for the knuckles.

    The oval shape is not standard and will cost more.

    The oval rail can be difficult to find, until demand is established by the industry.

    Finally, using a handrail with a textured surface decreases hand slippage significantly, whether from moisture, a gloved hand, or a weak grip. Rails padded with the standard black nylon do not always eliminate hand slipping or a gripping problem. Padding should be firm enough to permit a stable grip. Too soft a padded material may provide an inadequate grip, thereby allowing the passenger to fall.

    4.2.2 Placement and Positioning of Handrails

    Proper handrail placement and positioning is crucial to providing for the safe boarding and exiting of passengers from the vehicle. However, a handrail properly placed for boarding may not be as effective for a passenger exiting the vehicle. Often, not enough handrails are positioned at the point of boarding. The use and positioning of combinations of vertical, angled, and horizontal rails should be considered to aid passengers boarding and de-boarding the vehicle.

    4.2.2.1 Height - The most effective height for any handrail will allow passengers to use maximum arm leverage and exert a direct pull from the shoulder. The height at which rails are installed should ensure a balanced position when leaving the step. For each stairwell configuration establish the appropriate height. The transit system should "test" the height with persons of varying heights and arm lengths ("reach").

    - The most effective height for any handrail will allow passengers to use maximum arm leverage and exert a direct pull from the shoulder. The height at which rails are installed should ensure a balanced position when leaving the step. For each stairwell configuration establish the appropriate height. The transit system should "test" the height with persons of varying heights and arm lengths ("reach").

    4.2.2.2 Angles - Rails should be positioned at the correct angle to allow for proper gripping and for one-handed support of passengers. Angled rails are most effective in assisting the passenger in boarding the vehicle or the crutch user when exiting.

    - Rails should be positioned at the correct angle to allow for proper gripping and for one-handed support of passengers. Angled rails are most effective in assisting the passenger in boarding the vehicle or the crutch user when exiting.

    4.2.2.3 Vertical Rails - Vertical rails are most effective for exiting except for a crutch user. Care should be taken to extend the length of the rail for very short passengers as well as for tall ones. Test proper placement in the specific vehicle and stairwell before installation. This can be accomplished by using individuals of various heights to enter and exit the vehicle and measuring the location of railings which provide the safest and easiest access to the vehicle.

    - Vertical rails are most effective for exiting except for a crutch user. Care should be taken to extend the length of the rail for very short passengers as well as for tall ones. Test proper placement in the specific vehicle and stairwell before installation. This can be accomplished by using individuals of various heights to enter and exit the vehicle and measuring the location of railings which provide the safest and easiest access to the vehicle.

    4.2.2.4 Horizontal Rails - In most stairwell configurations, horizontal rails tend to be less effective for passengers. They do not provide the proper positioning to assistpassengers either in boarding or exiting the vehicle.

    - In most stairwell configurations, horizontal rails tend to be less effective for passengers. They do not provide the proper positioning to assistpassengers either in boarding or exiting the vehicle.

    4.2.3 Positioning of Stanchions

    In addition to the types of handrails and handrail materials used, the positioning of stanchions or grab rails within the vehicle is also important. 49 CFR 609.15 states "the configuration of the passenger assist system shall include a grab rail across the front of the vehicle which shall serve as both an assist and as a barrier to reduce the possibility of passengers sustaining injuries on the fare collection device or windshield in the event ofsudden deceleration. The rail shall be located to allow passengers to lean against it for security while paying fares."

    Many transit vehicles contain overhead grab rails. They extend the length of the vehicle, but because of the height of placement, they are usually ineffective for the elderly, disabled and/or shorter passengers. Where some passengers are unable to reach the rails or cannot use them effectively, the hand-grip on the back of the seat seems to be the most effective alternative, especially for passengers with disabilities or balance problems. Hand-grips that are an integral part of the seat generally are more stable and need less repair. Handgrips should extend the full width of the seat in order to be useful to the outside passenger seat.

    Vertical stanchions placed on transit vehicles extend from the ceiling to the floor. To allow for passage of crutches and canes, vertical stanchions should be angled at the base (toward the walls). The inward angle will reduce the possibility of an assistive device catching the stanchion and will be safer for all passengers.

    4.2.4 Stairwell

    The stairwell design and configuration can contribute to a significant number of passenger accidents and injuries. The stairwell steps must be designed at adequate step height for proper footing and the comfort of persons with limited flexibility and mobility of knees and legs. 49 CFR 609.15 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance requirements will provide transit sys tems with valuable guidelines for step design.

    4.2.4.1 Materials - Materials used on steps must be slip and skid-resistant even when wet, dry, or dirty. A bright, fluorescent, contrasting "yellow stripe" can easily be painted on the edge of each step to assist in proper foot placement. The band should run the whole width of the step. This striping has recently been used on escalator stairs to assist users' depth perception. Edge treatment is very important to passengers with bifocal or trifocal glasses. ADA requires that all step edges, boarding edges of ramps or lift platforms have a band of color which runs the full width of the step or edge and contrasts with the step tread and riser, lift or ramp.

    - Materials used on steps must be slip and skid-resistant even when wet, dry, or dirty. A bright, fluorescent, contrasting "yellow stripe" can easily be painted on the edge of each step to assist in proper foot placement. The band should run the whole width of the step. This striping has recently been used on escalator stairs to assist users' depth perception. Edge treatment is very important to passengers with bifocal or trifocal glasses. ADA requires that all step edges, boarding edges of ramps or lift platforms have a band of color which runs the full width of the step or edge and contrasts with the step tread and riser, lift or ramp.

    4.2.4.2 Lighting - As required by 49 CFR 609, any stairwell should have illumination of at least 2 foot-candle measured at the step tread. This aids in the visual perceptions of exiting and boarding passengers. Depending on your particular vehicle, 2 foot-candle power may not be enough. Adjust the illumination accordingly. ADA also requires the outside of doorways in which lifts or ramps are included to have a 1 foot-candle on the street surface for a distance of 3 feet perpendicular to all points on the bottom step outer edge. The light must also be located below window level and shielded to protect entering and exiting passengers. This light must be activated when the door is opened.

    - As required by 49 CFR 609, any stairwell should have illumination of at least 2 foot-candle measured at the step tread. This aids in the visual perceptions of exiting and boarding passengers. Depending on your particular vehicle, 2 foot-candle power may not be enough. Adjust the illumination accordingly. ADA also requires the outside of doorways in which lifts or ramps are included to have a 1 foot-candle on the street surface for a distance of 3 feet perpendicular to all points on the bottom step outer edge. The light must also be located below window level and shielded to protect entering and exiting passengers. This light must be activated when the door is opened.

    4.2.4.3 Configuration - Often, a transit system will settle for the standard stairwell because of a lack of understanding of other options. A "four" step stairwell can provide a safer and more comfortable entrance into the vehicle than the more traditional "three" step stairwell. However, to ensure safe and effective closure of the entrance one must be careful of the type of door used on the vehicle.

    - Often, a transit system will settle for the standard stairwell because of a lack of understanding of other options. A "four" step stairwell can provide a safer and more comfortable entrance into the vehicle than the more traditional "three" step stairwell. However, to ensure safe and effective closure of the entrance one must be careful of the type of door used on the vehicle.

    The height of the first step is critical and has been a problem area for many years. The height of the first step is often determined by the construction of the vehicle. The means by which the vehicle body is secured to the frame may limit the step options available for a specific vehicle. The ideal height for the first step has been shown to be between eight and nine inches. Because curb assistance in reaching the first step is not always available, several options are possible to assist passengers in entering the vehicle, including the following:

    • Adding a kneeling feature to the vehicle specification. The kneeling feature provides the advantage of being able to lower the vehicle to within four to six inches of the ground and greatly reduces passenger difficulty entering or exiting the vehicle. However, the disadvantages of a kneeling vehicle may outweigh the advantages in some geographical areas. The kneeling feature requires more maintenance and is more expensive. This feature also has limitations in harsh climates. Ice and snow often render the equipment non-operational.
    • Auxiliary steps may be some help, but are not without their problems. The most common types of auxiliary steps are self-storing, portable, or fixed "add-on" steps.
    • Self-storing alternatives include manual hinged or hydraulic steps. All types of self-storing steps are affected by ice and snow unless the vehicle undercarriage is enclosed. Enclosure may not be possible on all vehicles due to undercarriage clearances.
    • The manual step, operated by the driver, requires the least maintenance and has the fewest problems. However, because of the demand manual steps make on bus operators, they may not be an effective option.
    • Automatic steps require safety micro-switches to prevent premature closure. It is possible for the passenger to be injured if he or she is too close to the vehicle when the automatic step is activated. An interlock mechanism is required to prevent these steps from being activated while the vehicle is in motion.
    • Portable steps or boarding stools are often used. However, special consideration must be given to the stability of such steps. The base of the steps must be wider than the step area to avoid tipping as the passenger places weight on the step. Storage of the step can also be a safety problem. The step needs to be easily accessible for the driver. When not in use the step should be secured with straps and out of the way of passenger movement. Unless secured, such steps may be very dangerous in collisions and could seriously injure passengers. Avoid the temptation to use plastic or metal milk crates as portable steps.
    • Fixed "add-on" step problems include keeping the step surface clear of debris which can increase slips and falls. They may also contribute to accidents as the driver may forget the step adds to vehicle clearance, both in depth and width. Because of clearance problems, the fixed step is often very narrow and may be missed easily by the passenger, causing the passenger to fall out of the vehicle. A fixed step is most commonly found on vans and raised roof-vans. This type of step tends to increase the potential for accidents.
    • Specify a low-floor vehicle. A low floor considerably increases the initial cost of a vehicle. However, low-floor vehicles offer the safest way for non-disabled and persons with disabilities to board and depart vehicles and may also eliminate the need for expensive lifts and their attendant problems of maintenance and cycling time when in use.

    4.2.4.4 Entrance Obstructions - In addition to the above items, a transit system should be careful that the fare box is located as far forward as practical without obstructing the safe boarding of passengers, including those using wheelchairs, crutches, or walkers.

    - In addition to the above items, a transit system should be careful that the fare box is located as far forward as practical without obstructing the safe boarding of passengers, including those using wheelchairs, crutches, or walkers.

    4.2.5 Lift Selection and Placement

    The poor selection, placement and operation of transit vehicle lifts may result in accidents and injuries. Many accidents can be prevented with proper lift selection and installation. Without proper equipment, it is impossible for the transit system to provide safe transportation to passengers with mobility disabilities. Transit employees also need training in order to operate lifts safely and effectively. Please refer to the accessibility training section in Section 3 for more details.

    This part of Section 4 will discuss the categories of lifts and the types of issues that need to be evaluated before a lift can be specified. This section also discusses the way in which lifts should be specified.

    4.2.5.1 Lift Categories - Lifts are usually categorized as either passive or active. Passive lifts function as vehicle stairs when not in use. When a passenger needs to board the vehicle via lift, passive lift extends out from the stairwell to provide passengers with a platform. This lift platform raises and lowers to allow passengers to enter and exit the vehicle. The passenger may be more protected within the stepwell. Active lifts consist of a platform that is fitted into the vehicle and allows patrons to move onto the lift. The lift then raises the platform to the level of the bus floor or lowers theplatform to street level. Active lifts may be operated by electrical, mechanical, or hydraulic mechanisms, or a combination of these power systems.

    - Lifts are usually categorized as either passive or active. Passive lifts function as vehicle stairs when not in use. When a passenger needs to board the vehicle via lift, passive lift extends out from the stairwell to provide passengers with a platform. This lift platform raises and lowers to allow passengers to enter and exit the vehicle. The passenger may be more protected within the stepwell. Active lifts consist of a platform that is fitted into the vehicle and allows patrons to move onto the lift. The lift then raises the platform to the level of the bus floor or lowers theplatform to street level. Active lifts may be operated by electrical, mechanical, or hydraulic mechanisms, or a combination of these power systems.

    ADA requires considerable specifications for both passive and active lifts.

    • Design Load: The lift shall have a capacity of at least 600 pounds, including all working components.
    • Controls: Interlock systems with vehicle brakes, transmission, or door to ensure that the vehicle cannot be moved when the lift is not stowed and so the lift cannot be deployed unless the interlocks or systems are engaged.
    • The controls cannot allow an occupied platform to fold (active) or retract (passive) into the stowed position.
    • Emergency operation: An emergency method should be available for deploying, lowering to ground level with a lift occupant, and raising and stowing the empty lift platform should the lift power fail. (Refer to the ADA regulations for specifics.)
    • The lift system must be capable of being operated without hazard to the lift occupant or the operator.
    • The lift system must also be designed in order for the platform being stowed or folded when occupied is prevented.
    • The platform, stowed in a vertical position and deployed when occupied, shall have provisions for preventing the lift from deploying, falling, or folding at a rate any faster than 12 inches/second in the event of a power or component failure.
    • Platform barriers: All lift platforms must be equipped with a barrier to prevent any of the wheels of a wheelchair or mobility device from rolling off the platform.
    • Minimum of 12 inches in height
    • An automatic engage feature whenever the lift is raised or lowered more than 3 inches off the street surface
    • An interlock system must prevent the lift from working without the barrier in the proper position
    • Platform surface: Must be free of protrusions over 3 inch high on the surface and be slip resistant.
    • Platform shall have a minimum clear width of 282 at the platform; 30 inches measured from 2 inches above the platform; and a minimum clear length of 48 inches measured 2 inches above the surface the platform to 30 inches above the surface of the platform.

    Although ADA only requires a minimum 600 pound lift capacity, it is advisable to purchase a lift with a capacity of at least 750 pounds and preferably 1,000 pounds. Since most drivers have no way to accurately measure the weight of a mobility device and occupant, accidents could be prevented by having a heavier weight capacity to avoid lift failure due to excessive weight.

    4.2.5.2 Lift Considerations - When deciding which lift to purchase, transit systems should be certain to consider the following issues:

    - When deciding which lift to purchase, transit systems should be certain to consider the following issues:
    • Platform dimensions and provision of handrails
    • Ease of maintenance accessibility and availability of the parts to repair.
    • Life expectancy of lift, and the ease of transferring it to another vehicle.
    • Demand on lift: How often will it be cycled each day? Include a cycle counter.
    • Can the lift be rebuilt? Availability of component parts.
    • Types of passengers and types of mobility devices used by these passengers.
    • Weather conditions in which lift must operate.

    Selection of lifts should not be part of the general specification process. Rather, separateand detailed specifications for lifts should be developed as a supplemental section of the vehicle RFP to ensure that the lift will meet transit system needs as well as legal requirements. Performance and dimensional specifications should be included in the description of the lift, such as "the lift must be able to carry a load of one thousand pounds, twenty times successively," or "the dimensions of the platform should be aminimum of 30" x 48" as per ADA vehicle standards. However, any additional width allows for greater flexibility in providing services for the greater number of types of mobility devices.

    The following items should be included in any transit system specification for a lift (Refer to ADA Regulations before designing specifications!):

    • ADA specifications should be treated as a minimum.
    • Load requirement. One thousand pounds is a desirable minimum load specification. Be wary of purchasing any lift that promises to carry only the "standard" weight specification, because this usually means seven hundred pounds.
    • Appropriate mechanisms which will prevent deploying backstop until lift is completely level in down position.
    • A limit switch or equivalent device which prohibits the lift from being operated our of sequence.
    • Auxiliary component requirements. If a bus is lift-equipped, what other items within the vehicle must also have special specifications? Included, among others, may be additional batteries, larger alternator capacity, and different wiring specifications. Make sure that the lift purchased, as well as the auxiliary components needed to service that lift, are compatible with the vehicles used by the transit system.
    • Back-up capability. Specify a manual back-up system for lift operation, in case of equipment failure or an accident.

    4.2.5.3 Lift Placement - The location of an active lift in the vehicle is an extremely important decision, and must be given careful consideration. Whether the lift is located in the front of the vehicle, mid-vehicle, or to the rear of the vehicle has numerous implications for: the quality of service to persons with disabilities, the quality of working time for bus operators, and the ease and safety of passenger boarding and de-boarding. Lift placement also effects the compatibility of the mechanical and electrical elements of the lift to both existing vehicles and newly purchased vehicles. For the wheelchair passenger long rides can be very fatiguing. Average trip deviation or frequency of long rides should be considered when making the placement decision. Tables 4-7 through 4-10 present advantages and disadvantages that should be considered when evaluating the proper position for the lift at any transit system.

    - The location of an active lift in the vehicle is an extremely important decision, and must be given careful consideration. Whether the lift is located in the front of the vehicle, mid-vehicle, or to the rear of the vehicle has numerous implications for: the quality of service to persons with disabilities, the quality of working time for bus operators, and the ease and safety of passenger boarding and de-boarding. Lift placement also effects the compatibility of the mechanical and electrical elements of the lift to both existing vehicles and newly purchased vehicles. For the wheelchair passenger long rides can be very fatiguing. Average trip deviation or frequency of long rides should be considered when making the placement decision. Tables 4-7 through 4-10 present advantages and disadvantages that should be considered when evaluating the proper position for the lift at any transit system.

    TABLE 4-7. FRONT OF VEHICLE

    ADVANTAGES

    DISADVANTAGES

    Passenger is close to driver and can make eye contact.

    Easier for driver to assist passenger with disability.

    The ride will be more comfortable for the passenger.

    It may not be possible to board both ambulatory riders and riders in wheelchairs at the same time.

    Securement placement may interfere with ambulatory riders.

    TABLE 4-8. MID-VEHICLE

    ADVANTAGES

    DISADVANTAGES

    Passenger is close to driver. Easy to board ambulatory and wheelchair at the same time. Yields most comfortable ride for passenger.

    Vehicle must be at least twenty-eight feet long for this to be practical.

    4.2.5.4 Lift Use Training - ADA requires that all operators are trained to proficiency in the safe operation of the lift. Mechanics must also be trained in the proper maintenance of the lift and component parts. It is especially important that all operators are trained to proficiency in the correct usage of the securement devices. Improper use could increase the potential of injury or accident. The place to practice and/or learn is NOT with a passenger. Drivers must be trained in the operation of each type of lift used in the system and for each new type of lift installed.

    - ADA requires that all operators are trained to proficiency in the safe operation of the lift. Mechanics must also be trained in the proper maintenance of the lift and component parts. It is especially important that all operators are trained to proficiency in the correct usage of the securement devices. Improper use could increase the potential of injury or accident. The place to practice and/or learn is NOT with a passenger. Drivers must be trained in the operation of each type of lift used in the system and for each new type of lift installed.

    4.2.5.5 Lift Testing and Inspection - ADA requires the cycling of the lift to be part of the daily pre-trip vehicle inspection. Adherence to this schedule should be documented in the maintenance records.

    - ADA requires the cycling of the lift to be part of the daily pre-trip vehicle inspection. Adherence to this schedule should be documented in the maintenance records.

    TABLE 4-9. SIDE/REAR OF VEHICLE

    ADVANTAGES

    DISADVANTAGES

    Easiest location to load passengers with disabilities.

    The location of the securement area (near rear of bus) does not interfere with passenger boarding.

    Roughest ride for those sensitive to motion is in the back of the bus.

    Increases the time it takes the driver to board passengers with disabilities.

    Debris from rear bus wheels gets under lift.

    Passenger with disabilities waiting to board or deboard may have difficulty getting attention of bus driver.

    Wheelchair securement positions often block emergency exit.

    Access to rear wheelchair securement may be hampered for the other secured wheelchair.

    TABLE 4-10. REAR DOOR LIFT

    ADVANTAGES

    DISADVANTAGES

    Cheapest alternative.

    Most hazardous option, as passengers are lowered into the street instead of onto sidewalks.

    Rear-end collisions would disable the lift.

    Eliminates an important emergency exit from vehicle.

    Passenger too far from driver to get his attention.

    Roughest ride is in the rear of the bus.

    4.2.6 Lift Alternatives

    4.2.6.1 Ramps - An alternative to lifts is the use of a ramp, either manual or power deployed. Ramp specifications are covered in ADA in Section 38.23 (c: 1-8).

    - An alternative to lifts is the use of a ramp, either manual or power deployed. Ramp specifications are covered in ADA in Section 38.23 (c: 1-8).

    Some of the requirements include:

    • Design load: A minimum of 600 pound capacity dispersed over an area of 26 inches by 26 inches.
    • Ramp surface: The ramp surface shall be continuous and slip resistant; no protrusions on the surface greater than 3 inch; and have a clear width of 30 inches to accommodate both four and three wheeled mobility aids.
    • Ramp barriers: Each side of the ramp shall have barriers at least 2 inches high to prevent mobility aid wheels from slipping off the ramp.

    If ramps are to receive serious consideration, systems should be aware that their use will place greater physical demands upon the operator. This is especially true where the ramp's slope is steep due to high bus floor level, absence of curbs and short ramp length. 4.2.6.2 Low-Floor Vehicles - Low-floor vehicle designs are increasing in prevalence. The use of low-floor technology can eliminate both the initial cost and maintenance costs of lifts. Low-floor designs also alleviate the need to utilize steep ramps. Your operating environment must be carefully evaluated to determine if low-floor vehicles should be considered.

    4.3 DRIVER'S WORK AREA

    One section of the vehicle which tends to receive little safety attention is the driver's work area. Drivers often have long routes, long days, and drive under less than ideal conditions. Drivers come in all shapes, sizes, and with varying levels of stamina. Driver fatigue, increased by strain and uncomfortable or difficult positioning of the driver, is a common cause of bus accidents. The design of the driver's work area can influence driver fatigue. A poor design for the driver's area may cause more accidents and injuries to both the employee and the passengers than any other portion of the vehicle. Reference 7, a study entitled Study of Human Factors in Public Transportation Safety, noted the following:

    "The design of the driver's seat must accommodate the fixed dimensions of the driver's work space and the required movements of the driver's job. The driver's work space is severely restricted as a result of the driving task that requires the driver to maintain a static position for a long period of time.

    "The driver's work space envelope (arm reach, etc.) is further limited by the apparel of the driver and seat restraints. The driver's sitting position is static, but the job is dynamic, requiring interactive application of the controls. In dynamic movement, body parts do not operate completely independently, but work together, in concert.

    "The driver's seat must be designed to accommodate a wide variety of body dimensions of the driver population. This must be reflected in the designs of the seatand the location of the seat within the cab. The location of the driver's seat should be adjustable to accommodate comfortably at least ninety percent of the driver population."

    Some components that reduce driver fatigue and, therefore, may help prevent accidents are presented in the following paragraphs.

    4.3.1 Adjustable Driver's Seat

    The driver's seat is normally a standard seat and is part of the chassis of the vehicle. Due to the different sizes of drivers, a seat with six-way adjustability is best for reducing fatigue and worker's compensation claims, as well as for improving the driver's control of the vehicle. Six-way adjustment allows for the usual forward and backward movement; adjusts for seat height; provides lumbar support through the tilt of the seat back; allows side to side movement to help the driver when exiting the seat to perform duties, such as assisting passengers, and when re-entering the seat.

    4.3.2 Tilt Steering Wheel

    A tilt steering wheel in a small bus tends to be viewed as a luxury. However, in view of the different physical characteristics of drivers, the flexibility of positioning that a tilt steering wheel provides allows for better control and maneuverability of the vehicle. Benefits include reduced strain and fatigue for the driver and greater control of the vehicle for relatively few dollars.

    4.3.3 Gauges and Switches

    The placement of gauges and switches should ensure maximum "hands on" the steering wheel and "eyes on" the road for the driver. Gauges should be placed in an area where the driver's eyes can easily scan them. Controls and displays of common vehicle functions will be more visible when grouped together. Placement must ensure quick response to high priority controls and displays. Gauges and switches should not be located over the driver's head, as their visibility is greatly reduced in that location.

    4.3.4 Two-Way Radios

    Radios are essential and critical to the safe operation of vehicles, particularly in rural and specialized transit systems. They also enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of service to passengers. The location for installation of radios is also important to indicate in the vehicle specifications. Radios should be mounted in an area of easy accessibility to the driver, but not in an area that impedes the volume or clarity of messages, or where the radio could be bumped or dislodged, such as under or on the side of the seat. Depending on the vehicle being used, experiments should be performed to determine the most effective location for the radio before it is installed.

    4.4 VEHICLE EXTERIOR

    As with the interior components of a vehicle, often the "standard" vehicle is thought to be the only option available. However, a variety of options is available. Many of these options can significantly reduce the potential for accidents and injuries for relatively little additional expense.

    4.4.1 Mirrors

    One of the most critical and often forgotten items on a vehicle is the mirror. Due to a misunderstanding of the need for mirrors on small vehicles, the development of specifications for mirrors tends to be more commonly found in specifications for large buses. Therefore, on vehicles most commonly used in rural areas and in specialized transportation systems, one frequently finds only the "standard" mirrors for a van or light truck. The standard mirrors rarely meet the vision requirements for safety and maneuverability of the vehicle. The mirror should be large enough to provide a view of the full height and length of the vehicle, from the top of the vehicle to where the tire meets the road. When convex or spot mirrors are used, they should be mounted on a separate bracket to minimize the tendency for drivers to use these mirrors to judge distance. Also, with a separate bracket none of the visibility of the flat minor surface is lost. Convex mirrors should be used to provide a wider view of the road. These spot mirrors should be four to six inches in diameter. Above all, a convex mirror should not be placed in the upper left corner of the mirror on the driver's side or the upper right corner on the right side of the vehicle. To place the spot mirror in those locations obstructs the most important area of the mirror with a distorted view. Inside mirror placement requires drivers to look away from the road. Drivers must minimize this tendency to look up in each distraction. However, the driver needs to know how to scan all of the mirrors in order to keep current with all road and passenger activity.

    4.4.1.1 Alternative Mirror Designs - The most inexpensive mirrors are the "standard camper mirrors" such as those used on fifth wheel vehicles. If the design of the vehicle being purchased does not allow these mirrors to be properly adjusted to provide the necessary view, there are companies that will customize any mirror design needed. Of course this option would be more expensive than the other alternatives.

    - The most inexpensive mirrors are the "standard camper mirrors" such as those used on fifth wheel vehicles. If the design of the vehicle being purchased does not allow these mirrors to be properly adjusted to provide the necessary view, there are companies that will customize any mirror design needed. Of course this option would be more expensive than the other alternatives.

    4.4.1.2 Use of Mirrors - The best mirrors will not prevent accidents unless the driver has been properly trained in their use. This training should include how to properly adjust the mirrors and the proper use of the mirrors while the vehicle is in motion. Many drivers find it difficult to learn how to use mirrors. An effective and low cost method for training drivers in mirror usage is to add another segment onto the "rodeo" in-vehicle driving course. After the driver has mastered the obstacle course driving the vehicle fonvard, also require mastery while backing the vehicle through it, using only the mirrors. Proper mirror usage should be essential to successfully complete additional course work. At a minimum, the driving course should include diminishing clearances, off-set alleys and serpentine.

    - The best mirrors will not prevent accidents unless the driver has been properly trained in their use. This training should include how to properly adjust the mirrors and the proper use of the mirrors while the vehicle is in motion. Many drivers find it difficult to learn how to use mirrors. An effective and low cost method for training drivers in mirror usage is to add another segment onto the "rodeo" in-vehicle driving course. After the driver has mastered the obstacle course driving the vehicle fonvard, also require mastery while backing the vehicle through it, using only the mirrors. Proper mirror usage should be essential to successfully complete additional course work. At a minimum, the driving course should include diminishing clearances, off-set alleys and serpentine.

    4.4.1.3 Remote Adjusting Right-Side Mirror - If the transit system rotates drivers, remote adjustable mirrors are relatively inexpensive and can save money in the long run. If mirrors are difficult to reach and/or to adjust, most drivers will leave them in the position used by the previous driver. The result is a driver either straining to see properly, failing to see the vehicle or the road properly or, at best, increasing the number of "blind spots" in his/her range of vision. This alone has been the cause of many accidents.

    - If the transit system rotates drivers, remote adjustable mirrors are relatively inexpensive and can save money in the long run. If mirrors are difficult to reach and/or to adjust, most drivers will leave them in the position used by the previous driver. The result is a driver either straining to see properly, failing to see the vehicle or the road properly or, at best, increasing the number of "blind spots" in his/her range of vision. This alone has been the cause of many accidents.

    4.4.2 Lighting Packages

    Developing lighting packages which increase the visibility of the vehicle to other drivers will minimize and/or reduce accidents. Some of the lighting options are discussed in the following items.

    4.4.2.1 Headlights - For greater road visibility on both high and low beam and longer wear, it is recommended that halogen headlights be used at all times. Headlights should be on during all hours of operation. For additional visibility vehicles can be equipped with day-time "running lights".

    - For greater road visibility on both high and low beam and longer wear, it is recommended that halogen headlights be used at all times. Headlights should be on during all hours of operation. For additional visibility vehicles can be equipped with day-time "running lights".

    4.4.2.2 Rear Lights - Another area often taken for granted is the rear lighting package on vehicles. Rarely do specifications provide details about the rear lights. Without anyspecific requirements the vehicle is generally manufactured with standard lighting configurations. A low cost option, in addition to the standard lighting package, is to have eight inch amber arrow directional lights installed above the standard tail lights. This added indicator is eye level for most drivers in cars. Because of the size and uniqueness of these lights, motorists tend to see them sooner and more clearly than standard lights. Due to the increased visibility, oversized lights can have a major impact in reducing rear-end collisions.

    - Another area often taken for granted is the rear lighting package on vehicles. Rarely do specifications provide details about the rear lights. Without anyspecific requirements the vehicle is generally manufactured with standard lighting configurations. A low cost option, in addition to the standard lighting package, is to have eight inch amber arrow directional lights installed above the standard tail lights. This added indicator is eye level for most drivers in cars. Because of the size and uniqueness of these lights, motorists tend to see them sooner and more clearly than standard lights. Due to the increased visibility, oversized lights can have a major impact in reducing rear-end collisions.

    The addition of "Wahlen scene" rear back-up lights are also helpful, as they provide bright illumination for approximately twenty feet behind the vehicle. This is extremely helpful when a driver must get out of a parking space or driveway.

    Also, halogen back-up lights provide better visibility for the driver as well as others.

    4.4.2.3 Side Turn Signals - A side-mounted turn signal indicator light mounted mid-length along the vehicle body approximately forty-eight inches from the ground provides added visibility for the driver in the compact car. This feature is usually considered usefulonly on long vehicles, but it is also very ffective at improving the visibility of the twenty-four foot small bus.

    - A side-mounted turn signal indicator light mounted mid-length along the vehicle body approximately forty-eight inches from the ground provides added visibility for the driver in the compact car. This feature is usually considered usefulonly on long vehicles, but it is also very ffective at improving the visibility of the twenty-four foot small bus.

    4.4.2.4 Doorway Lighting - ADA requires compliance with 49 CFR 609.15 which discusses the requirements for illumination of all doorways:

    - ADA requires compliance with 49 CFR 609.15 which discusses the requirements for illumination of all doorways:

    "Vehicle doorways shall have outside light(s) which provide at least 1 foot-candle on the street surface for a distance of 3 feet from all points on the bottom step tread edge. Such light(s) shall be located below window level and shielded to protect the eyes of entering and exiting passengers.

    4.4.3 Reflective Striping

    Most accidents happen at dusk, dawn, or during times of inclement weather, such as fog, rain, or snow storms. A four to six inch stripe of reflector tape around the vehicle, at eye level, provides a bright indicator, especially during those times when a vehicle may not easily be seen. For some time this technique has been used successfully on emergency equipment. As a general rule, the more "attention" a vehicle receives by other motorists, or the more aware other motorists are of the presence of the vehicle, the less likely the vehicle is to be involved in a collision.

    4.4.4 Energy Absorbing Bumpers

    Today most vehicles can be purchased with rear and front impact bumpers at relatively little extra cost. If financial constraints allow for only one, specifying the rear bumper would be preferable. Impact bumpers will absorb a considerable amount of the force involved in a low-speed rear collision. This ability to absorb an impact can result in less vehicle damage as well as potentially less personal injury.

    4.4.5 Exterior Color Combinations

    The exterior color of transit vehicles should be chosen with the terrain and climate in mind. White, although a most popular color because of the connotation of cleanliness, isthe most "potentially dangerous" color, especially in areas which have fog and/or snow. The color blends in with the weather conditions making it hard to see by other motorists.If a vehicle is white, breaking up the color with bright colored "scotch-lite" would greatly increase the visibility of the vehicle.

    Unfortunately, the most visible color, the lime green now used by fire departments, isalso considered the most unattractive. The color change was made because of results of visibility studies in all climates and geographical areas. The transit system can choose a pleasing color and retain visibility by using contrasting lettering, scotch-lite, etc.

    One practice that is recommended to increase visibility is to operate headlights at all times while the vehicle is in operation. Operating with lights on draws the motorists' attention to the vehicle because they do not expect to see headlights during daylight hours. Visibility reduces the hazards which could result in an accident.

    4.5 ENGINE COMPARTMENT

    The accident or problem most associated with the engine compartment is fire. Fires occur when flammable materials come in contact with an ignition source in the presence of oxygen. Within an engine compartment this occurs when fuel or hydraulic fluid leaks and comes in contact with a hot surface such as the manifold. To prevent fire, the routing or placement of fuel and hydraulic lines should be such that leaking fluids cannot come in contact with a hot surface.

    The engine compartment door also causes safety problems when it falls on the driver or maintenance person. The door should be secured properly at all times.

    4.6 SAFETY SYSTEMS AND DEVICES

    When developing specifications for vans, small buses, as well as full size transit coaches, consider these inexpensive safety options:

    • Safety interlock systems. There are a myriad of possibilities for such systems. Interlock systems are available that will not allow the vehicle to be moved if any door is ajar. Another interlock system allows the driver to remove the ignition key, but leaves the vehicle's heating and cooling systems operating while the driver assists a passenger through the door.
    • Master shut-off switches. The driver can activate this switch in an accident or when the potential for fire exists. This switch will cut off all electrical current from the battery .
    • Engine shut-down switch. This switch can be accessed from either the interior or exterior of the vehicle to minimize a fire or hazard to passengers or emergency response personnel in the case of a collision or driver incapacitation. Its existence should be clearly marked.
    • Fuel tank protection. School buses have long been required to have the added protection of steel guard-framing around the fuel tank to minimize the chance of the tank being punctured in an accident. This feature is inexpensive and readily available.
    • Suppression systems. Where feasible, an engine compartment overheat detection/fire suppression system should be specified. This system should be equipped with a time delay (to accommodate false indicators) and a manual override.
    • Audible alarms. Where possible, the vehicle should contain an audible alarm that indicates when the vehicle is in reverse or preparing to back up.
    • Local police and fire departments should be made aware of the systems vehicle configuration, fuel type, location and type of on-board safety equipment and location of engine shut down switches.

    It is important to note that references to ADA requirements in this document SHOULD NOT be used as the sole source for compliance. Only specific sections have been mentioned because of the specific safety impacts. Every transit manager and person responsible for maintenance, procurement, operations, and training must be familiar with and have an operational knowledge of the ADA rules: 49 CFR Parts 27, 37, and 38.

    5. PROCEDURES TO PREVENT BUS ACCIDENTS

    The development, implementation and dissemination of adequate policies and procedures is an essential element of a program to prevent the occurrence of accidents. Policy considerations and procedures require considerable forethought and analysis of the potential alternatives. They also require an evaluation of both short term and long term effects and consequences. It is imperative that all policies and procedures be in writingand routinely updated. To ensure knowledge and understanding as well as compliance,policies and procedures should be included in the training program for new employees and refresher training for present employees.

    5.1 SAFETY SYSTEM POLICY ISSUES AND PROCEDURES

    Failure of a vehicle system may result directly in an accident or cause an on-the-road breakdown of the vehicle. If the vehicle is disabled in a rural area and the weather is bad, the potential exists for an emergency situation. In well traveled or urban areas, a disabledvehicle may be at risk of being hit by another vehicle. In an effort to minimize the potential for accidents to occur, the transit system should implement thorough inspectionand maintenance policies and procedures.

    5.2 PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE

    The goal of an effective preventive maintenance program should be to have no vehicle breakdowns or unscheduled repairs between preventive maintenance inspections. To achieve this goal of vehicle operation without inadvertent breakdowns, the transit systemshould institute a program to identify potential maintenance problems before they result in vehicle breakdowns. To play a significant role in accident prevention, a properly executed and timed preventive maintenance program must be developed based on manufacturer recommendations on preventive maintenance needs, the transit system operating data, and the experience of the transit system personnel. Communication between drivers and maintenance personnel is an essential element of such a program. Perhaps the most neglected "road to safety" is the interface between the maintenance function and operations. In many systems, the prevailing attitude voiced by the maintenance staff is that "The drivers break 'em, we fix 'em." Conversely, the drivers claim that "We tell 'em, but they never fix 'em." In many drivers' opinions, the best indicator that the shop has looked at a defect is the perennial glob of grease left somewhere (usually on the seat) by a mechanic. Appendix G contains a vehicle defect report that may be employed to initiate a maintenance action.

    Failure to take the driver's role in preventive maintenance seriously, or to understand the need for communication, will result in poor interdepartmental relations. It will also lead to the nightmare of "breakdown maintenance" with an increase in the unscheduled maintenance required of the transit vehicles. In other words, failure to motivate and train drivers to administer proper pre-trip/post-trip inspections (including some diagnostics) will only provide an incentive against reporting defects.

    The preventive maintenance program must specifically match the needs/demands of each system and take into account the Original Equipment Manufacturers'(OEM) recommendations on the type and proper intervals for maintenance. Vehicle or system operating data can be analyzed to assist in identifying failure modes and the appropriate maintenance intervals. Experimental components should be monitored on a strict schedule. If the inspection and maintenance program is properly monitored, important adjustments or changes in the preventive maintenance program may be identified before failures occur. As an example, routine inspections may reveal wear patterns in brakes which indicate deviations from the OEM anticipated component life, and if the preventive maintenance program is modified, it will prevent premature mechanical failure. Safety department personnel should be involved in the development of the preventive maintenance program and the specific maintenance procedures. This involvement will ensure familiarity with the procedures and processes should questions regarding maintenance arise during accident investigations. In addition, safety personnel may assist maintenance managers by alerting them to potential accident exposures created by hazardous procedures identified during the procedure review.

    Finally, continuous pro-active training in procedures and proper preventive maintenance practices is critical to successfully preventing accidents due to mechanical defects/failures. An improperly trained mechanic will not be capable of detecting potentially defective components during inspections or properly completing follow-up repairs. Accident prevention practices can be emphasized during such training as well.

    Accident prevention is not a stand alone function of the safety department. Failure to address the role of the maintenance department in accident prevention can only result in failure of a significant part of accident prevention efforts. Appendix H presents an example of a maintenance checklist that could be employed when determining if these are vehicle mechanical problems.

    5.3 PRE-TRIP/POST-TRIP INSPECTIONS

    Proper pre-trip and post-trip inspections are a key building block to the foundation of operating a fleet free of potential accident causing mechanical defects. Transit systems must require drivers to conduct a brief pre-trip/post-trip inspection of the vehicle to ensure that safety systems are operating and the vehicle is not likely to become disabled before completing its route. The necessary discipline for enforcing consistent, high quality driver inspections must be initiated, supported, and maintained by all management personnel in every department and at all levels. Sufficient time must be provided for the drivers to conduct proper pre-and post-trip inspections. Clean, well-lit areas should be provided where the inspection can be conducted. Large convex mirrors attached to buildings, sign posts, etc, in the inspection area will assist drivers in completing inspections of lighting systems expeditiously.

    For several reasons, training for pre-trip/post-trip inspections should involve maintenance personnel and be constantly emphasized during all driver training. First, it provides a chance for drivers and maintenance personnel to get acquainted. A tour of themaintenance facility should be conducted to show drivers and other personnel the types of preventive maintenance and repair work done in the shop. Show and tell sessions are very effective for getting drivers to understand proper operation of components, proper inspection of tires, and proper defect card/form completion. The importance of complete defect descriptions in assisting problem diagnosis and preventing repeat repairs should be emphasized. The chain of command in the maintenance shop should be outlined, complete with procedures for reporting potential rework/repeat repairs.

    Maintenance management personnel must dedicate themselves to breaking down the communication barriers that exist between many drivers and mechanics. Training sessions and policies that explain that drivers are "internal customers" should be developed. Mechanics, responsible for receiving defect cards and translating them into suitable repairs, should be instructed to resolve the reported problem without "glossing over" potential major defects.

    The pre-trip/post-trip inspection should at least include an inspection of the following safety systems:

    • Steering
    • Brakes
    • Headlights, clearance and identification lights, turn signals, stop lights, tail lights, tag lights
    • Mirrors
    • Back-up alarms
    • Tire inflation, sidewall and tread condition
    • Fuel/hydraulic/cooling systems for obvious leaks
    • Door operation and proper interlock operation
    • Passenger signal system
    • Radio
    • Lift, full cycle and securement devices
    • Horn
    • Fire extinguisher, first aid kit, flares, triangles, dragging equipment
    • Windshield wipers/washers
    • Broken stairs or other tripping hazards
    • Loose seats, grab rails, etc.
    • Operational emergency exits (roof and windows)

    Pre-trip inspections are limited in depth and will not identify all safety problems. Thorough shop inspections and the appropriate maintenance, preventive or corrective, will minimize the potential for accidents or disabled vehicles. Preventive maintenance is intended to minimize or anticipate potential system or component failures before they occur. Examples of preventive maintenance are periodic oil changes, vehicle tune-ups, the replacement of light bulbs at set intervals, and regular lift cycling. Corrective maintenance occurs when a component or system fails. Corrective maintenance requires the vehicle be taken out of service. Frequency of inspection and an example of items that should, as a minimum, be inspected are contained in Appendix I.

    5.4 POLICY ISSUES AND PROCEDURES CONCERNING LIFTS

    Drivers must understand the policies concerning lifts and the procedures for normal and emergency operations. Consideration should be given to the following concerns:

    • Is full operation or cycling of the lift required in the vehicle pre-trip inspection or check prior to start of service?
    • If the lift fails, how does the manual back-up work and are all the parts required to operate the system in the proper place?
    • Is the driver allowed to stand on the lift while assisting passengers? This may help the passenger feel safer and initially may be easier for the driver. However, if the lift fails or the driver falls, there is no one to handle the emergency situation or passengers. Who will assume that responsibility if the driver is injured?
    • What procedures will the driver use in handling wheelchairs? Training should include actual hands-on training with wheelchairs. Classroom discussions without hands-on training cannot teach the driver how to safely handle a person in a wheelchair, or to properly secure the mobility device and/or passenger.
    • How should drivers be trained to operate vehicles? A recognized, systematic training program should be provided. The time to practice is during training, not with the passengers or in an emergency.
    • Will all mobility devices and wheelchairs be allowed on the lift with the passenger?
    • Will passengers be allowed to stand on the lift platform? This is required to be in compliance with current ADA regulations if a passenger insists on standing on the lift. However, a passenger may be vulnerable to loss of balance and may fall off the lift platform.
      • Several safety issues to be addressed include the following: not all mobility devices have brakes or will fit on the lift platform and one type of wheelchair has a gasoline engine and carries five gallons of flammable explosive gas.
    • For passengers who stand on the lift, will the transit system refuse transportation to passengers or provide another alternative such as a "boarding chair"?
    • A boarding chair is a standard, adult folding wheelchair that is carried on the vehicle. The potential standee can enter the vehicle via the lift by using the boarding chair. It provides a safe alternative to meet the needs of the passenger and still meets the ADA requirements.
    • However, there are the following disadvantages: the passenger may not want to use the chair. The driver must then allow the passenger to ride on the lift if it meets ADA requirements.
    • A boarding chair costs about $800 or less, and would be expensive to provide in all vehicles. However, it may be cheaper than lawsuits from injuries and/or possible fatalities.
    • How will you transport the "cargo" (the passenger's mobility device)?

    5.5 POLICY ISSUES AND PROCEDURES CONCERNING RESTRAINT AND SECUREMENT DEVICES

    In transit systems where passenger restraints and wheelchair securement devices are present, the transit system should establish and clearly communicate to the employees and drivers the transit system policy on their use. Issues that need to be addressed include the following:

    • Are all passengers required to use seat belts?
    • Should drivers assist passengers in buckling their seat belts?
    • What actions should the driver take if a passenger releases the seat belt while the vehicle is moving?
    • What should the driver do if a passenger refuses to wear a seat belt?
    • What if a passenger in a wheelchair refuses to use a lap belt? Will the driver continue on the route?
    • How should the transit system react if a passenger consistently refuses to comply with the system policies?
    • How does the transit system notify passengers or agencies of system policies, requirements and consequences?
    • Will the transit system provide child restraint systems or child safety seats?
    • Where will the child seat be stored when not in use?
    • If the system does not provide child restraint systems, what does the driver do if a parent does not have one when boarding the vehicle?

    6. REFERENCES

    1. Rudich, R. Safety Management Information Statistics (SAMIS) 1991 Annual

    Report. Cambridge, MA: VNTSC USDOT. Fi n al report, Report No. FTA- h~A-26-

    0009-931/DOT-VNTSC-FTA-93-1 .

    2. Critical Ingredients for a Functional System Safety Program. Presentation at the

    1993 APTA Rapid Transit Conference. Miami, FL, June 9, 1993.

    3. Kerr, C.; L. Lally. National Urban Mass Transportation Statistics. 1985 Section 15

    Annual Report, Cambridge, MA, Technology Applications, Inc., U. S. DOT. Report No.

    UMTA-IT-06-0310-87-1 .

    4. Hathaway, W. T., S. H. Markos. Recommended Emergency Preparedness

    Guidelines for Urban, Rural, and Specialized Transit Systems. Cambridge, MA,

     

    Transportation Systems Center, RSPA, U. S. DOT. Final report, Report No. UMTA-MA-06-

    0196-91 -1/DOTVNTSC-UMTA-91-1.

    5. Roland, H. E., B. Moriarity. System Safety Engineering and Management. Second

    Edition, New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1990.

    6. Fruin, J.J., D. K. Guha, and R. F. Marshall. Pedestrian Falling Accidents in Transit

    Terminals. New York, NY, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, U.S. DOT,

     

    Final Report, Report No. UMTA- MA-06-0098-84-2.

    7. Layton, R., K. Hunter, and R. Safford, Study of Human Factors in Public

    Transportation. Corralis, OR, Transportation Research Institute, Oregon State University,

     

    FTA, U.S. DOT. Final Report, Report Contract No. OR-11-0005.

    APPENDIX A. SAMPLE SAFETY POLICY

    _____________________ TRANSIT SYSTEM

    MEMORANDUM

    TO: ALL EMPLOYEES

    FROM: ____________________

    DATE: ____________________

    SUBJECT: ____________________ SAFETY POLICY

    The ________________________ was created to provide safe, courteous, clean, reliable,

    and effective on-time service to residents of _________________________________.

    The safety of our system is of paramount concern. Our goal is to provide transit patrons

    and employees with the highest degree of safety that is practical. As a result, all

    ____________________ personnel are charged with the responsibility of insuring the

    safety of passengers, employees, property, and those who come in contact with the

    system.

    The ____________________ is authorized and directed to develop, implement, and

    administer a comprehensive and coordinated system safety program to prevent, control,

    and resolve unsafe conditions which may occur. This authority includes the right to stop

    any operation which ____________________ feels is not safe.

    It is the responsibility of each ____________________ employee to cooperate

    with ____________________ and provide him/her with any requested information to

    assist in any investigation or inspection that is being conducted.

    APPENDIX B. BUS SAFETY INSPECTION CHECKLIST

    The following checklist is provided to assist transit system safety personnel in the

    inspection of the buses in their system. It is intended to provide guidance to the transit

    system on what safety issues should be examined when a bus is inspected by the safety

    office. It may also be employed to provide maintenance personnel with guidance on what

    safety items need to be inspected at regular intervals. Finally, not all buses will contain

    the equipment on the inspection list. From a procurement perspective, it also provides a

    list of items that should be considered in the procurement of future buses.

    OPERATIONAL SAFETY ISSUES

    1. Low air warning alarm (audible)

    2. Air leaks when bus systems are operating

    3. Service brake application

    4. Parking brake application

    5. Brake interlock

    6. Accelerator interlock

    7. Emergency engine stop

    8. Front door operation

    9. Rear door operation

    10. Windshield wiper/washer

    11. Passenger signal system

    12. Emergency exit door

    13. Exit door warning

    14. Back-up alarm

    15. Wheelchair lifts and securement devices

    16. Steering operation/free play

    17. Road test

    UNDERCARRIAGE ITEMS

    1. Front axle components

    Lines

    Brakes

    Shocks

    Suspension

    Bracket/mounts

    2. Steering components

    Tie/rod/ends

    Steering lines

    Drag link

    Shaft/joints

    Gear box

    Free play

    3. Batteries/cables

    4. Fuel tank lines

    5. Rear brakes

    ENGINE COMPARTMENT

    1. Electrical box/wires

    2. Electrical harness/cables

    3. Power steering lines

    4. Oil lines

    5. Air lines

    6. Fuel lines

    7. Engine cradle hangers

    8. Oil/fuel leak on/near exhaust components

    9. Fire detection and suppression system

    BUS INTERIOR

    1. Driver's seat belt

    2. Supervisor presence and operation

    3. Passenger seats

    4. Wheelchair tie down

    5. Grab rail/stanchions

    6. Interior mirrors

    7. Interior lighting

    8. Stepwell-front

    9. Stepwell-rear

    10. Emergency exit door

    11. Emergency exit window

    12. Roof escape hatch operation

    13. Radio communications

    14. Horn

    15. Brake pedal

    16. Accelerator pedal

    17. Fire extinguisher/charge date

    18. Steering wheel/column

    19. First aid kit

    20. Reflectors

    21. Sharp edges

    22. Trash in bus (i.e., electrical box)

    EXTERIOR

    1. Head lamps - low beam

    2. Head lamps - high beam

    3. Turn signals front

    4. Turn signals side

    5. Turn signals rear

    6. Reflectors

    7. Parking clearance lamps

    8. Tail lamps

    9. Stop lamps

    10. 4-way emergency flasher lamps

    11. Back-up lamps

    12. Front tires, left - inflation, tread, rims/nuts

    13. Front tires, right - inflation, tread, rims/nuts

    14. Rear tires, left - inflation, tread, rims/nuts

    15. Rear tires, right - inflation, tread, rims/nuts

    16. Windshield glass

    17. Windshield- harness

    18. Windshield- wiper/washer

    19. Windows, side

    20. Mirror, right

    21. Mirror, left

    APPENDIX C. GENERIC HAZARD CHECKLIST*

    1. BASIC DESIGN DEFICIENCIES

    A. Examples:

    1. Sharp corners

    2. Instability

    3. Excessive weight

    4. Inadequate clearance

    5. Lack of accessibility

    B. Causes: Improper or Poor Design

    C. Control Methods: Improve or Change Design

    2. INHERENT HAZARDS

    A. Examples:

    1. Mechanical (i.e., rotating equipment, vibration)

    2. Electrical

    3. Explosives

    4. Flammable gases or liquids

    5. Toxic substances

    6. Acceleration (flying objects)

    7. Deceleration (falling objects)

    8. Temperature

    B. Cause: Integral Characteristic Which Cannot Be Designed Out

    C. Control Methods:

    1. Safety devices

    (a) Isolation (separation)

    (b) Barriers (guards)

    (c) Interlocks (deactivation)

    (d) Pressure release

    (e) Temperature sensor (fuse)

    2. Warning devices (five senses)

    (a) Visual (sight)- color, shape, signs, light

    (b) Auditory (hearing)- bell

    (c) Tactile (touch)- shape, texture

    (d) Olfactory (smell)

    (e) Gustatory (taste)

    3. Procedures and training

    (a) Use of safe procedures

    (b) Training

    (c) Backout/recovery procedures

    (d) Protective equipment

    (e) Emergency procedures

    3. MALFUNCTIONS

    A. Examples:

    1. Structural failures

    2. Mechanical malfunctions

    3. Power failures

    4. Electrical malfunctions

    B. Causes:

    1. Faulty design

    2. Manufacturing defects

    3. Improper or insufficient maintenance

    4. Exceeding specified limits

    5. Environmental effects

    C. Control Methods: Design

    1. Fail safe design

    2. Higher safety margins (i.e., reduce stress, increase load strength, etc.)

    3. Redundant circuitry or equipment

    4. Timed replacement

    D. Other Control Methods: Safety Devices, Warning Devices, Procedures and Training (See Point 2C 1-3)

    4. MAINTENANCE HAZARDS

    A. Examples:

    1. Improper connections

    2. Component failures

    3. Equipment damage

    4. Operational delay

    B. Causes:

    1. Lack of maintenance

    2. Improper maintenance

    3. Hazardous maintenance conditions

    C. Control Methods:

    1. Design

    (a) Simplified design

    (b) Fail-safe design

    (c) Easy access to equipment

    (d) Elimination of need for special tools or equipment

    2. Safety devices

    (a) Guards for moving parts

    (b) Interlocks

    3. Warning devices

    (a) Labels/signs

    (b) Bells

    (c) Chimes

    (d) Lights

    4. Procedures or training

    (a) Documentation of proper procedures

    (b) Improved training courses

    (c) Housekeeping

    5. ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS

    A. Examples:

    1. Heat

    2. Cold

    3. Dryness

    4. Wetness

    5. Low friction (slipperiness)

    6. Glare

    7. Darkness

    8. Earthquake

    9. Gas or other toxic fumes

    B. Causes:

    1. Inherent

    2. Foreseen or unforeseen natural phenomena/conditions which do or could occur

    C. Control Methods [see also 4(c)l

    1. Design

    (a) Increased resistance to temperature changes

    (b) Increased resistance to dryness or wetness

    (c) Fail-safe design

    2. Safety Devices

    (a) Sufficient heating or cooling capability

    (b) Adequate insulation

    (c) Restricted access

    (d) Temperature sensor

    3. Warning devices

    (a) Visual

    (b) Auditory

    (c) Olfactory

    4. Procedures and training

    (a) Use of safe procedures

    (b) Protective equipment

    (c) Training

    6. HUMAN FACTORS

    A. Examples: (also see all other items)

    1. Stress (sensory, mental, motor)

    2. Physical surroundings (environment)

    (a) Noise

    (b) Illumination

    (c) Temperature

    (d) Energy sources

    (e) Air and humidity

    (f) Vibration

    3. Errors

    (a) Omission

    (b) Commission

    4. Nonrecognition of hazards

    5. Incorrect decisions

    6. Tasks done at wrong time

    7. Tasks not performed or incorrectly performed

    B. Causes:

    1. Inadequate attention to human design criteria

    2. Poor location, layout of controls

    3. Equipment complexity

    4. Inherent hazards

    5. Incorrect installation

    6. Failure of warning devices

    7. Inadequacy of procedural safeguards

    (a) Failure to follow instructions

    (b) Lack of knowledge of procedures

    8. Inadequate training

    9. Improper or insufficient maintenance

    C. Control Methods:

    1. Design (to address items 1 - 6)

    2. Safety devices (redundancy)

    (a) Isolation (separation)

    (b) Barriers (guards)

    (c) Interlocks (deactivation)

    (d) Temperature sensor (fuse)

    3. Warning devices - five senses (redundancy)

    (a) Visual (sight)- color, shape, signs, light

    (b) Auditory (hearing)- bell

    (c) Tactile (touch)- shape, texture

    (d) Gustatory (taste)

    (e) Olfactory (smell)

    4. Procedures and training

    (a) Clear warning labels (nature of hazard, action to avoid injury, consequences)

    (b) Use of complete, proper, safe procedures

    (c) Adequate training (also refresher training)

    (d) Backout/recovery procedures

    (e) Protective equipment

    (f) Emergency procedures

    (g) Proper maintenance procedures

    APPENDIX D. SAMPLE POSITION DESCRIPTION FORM

    TITLE:

    JOB OBJECTIVES:

    (Purpose of the position. As with all objectives, they should be specific and measurable.)

    JOB STANDARDS:

    (Minimum qualifications needed to perform the essential job functions.)

    JOB LOCATIONS:

    (This would be applicable if there was more than one location where job functions could be performed. This could be helpful if all locations are not accessible.)

    EQUIPMENT:

    (Machines, tools, devices used in performing essential job functions.)

    CRITICAL SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:

    (Those skills needed for the performance of the position. Specificity is crucial in order to evaluate whether or not the skills or experience are present.)

    NON-ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:

    (Those tasks being performed by the incumbent in the position that are marginal and could be reassigned.) An example could be a secretary who is also required to get the mail.

    COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS:

    (Terms relating to the job functions, if applicable; e.g., if the agreement provides a list of job duties. However, there must be clear evidence that the duties do not justify discriminatory job criterion.) It will become imperative that each job be analyzed carefully to determine what the essential and non-essential duties are.

    APPENDIX E. EMPLOYEE SELECTION~RACKING CHECKLIST

    SECTION I. - PRE-JOB OFFER

    YES

    NO

    1.

    Are mandatory notices (i.e., Title VI, Drug Free Workplace, Affirmative Action, 13C, etc.) posted at all locations?

    ____

    ____

    2.

    Has job description been developed and reviewed to assure compliance with ADA, etc?

    ____

    ____

    3.

    Was job advertised, listed with Job Center, JPTA office, Vocational Rehabilitation Center, NAACP, Urban League, etc.?

    ____

    ____

    4.

    Was list of questions developed and reviewed to assure consistency, lack of violations of discriminatory issues (age, sex, race, disability, etc.)?

    ____

    ____

    5.

    Application completed and signed?

    ____

    ____

    6.

    Drug testing requirements (for safety sensitive positions) explained and signed?

    ____

    ____

    7.

    Physical requirements explained and signed?

    ____

    ____

    SECTION II. - POST OFFER

    1.

    Offer tendered (position, wage/salary rate, probationary period length, benefits, accommodations necessary).

    ____

    ____

    2.

    Physical completed (date & location if more than one clinic used).

    ____

    ____

    3.

    Drug screen (date & clinic location). (if failed - MRO counseling completed date/time).

    Pass

    Fail

    4.

    . Employee handbook issued (date/issued by).

    ____

    ____

    5.

    Training (beginning date, ending date).

    ____

    ____

    6.

    Drivers license check completed (date requested, date received).

    ____

    ____

    7.

    Bonding notice filed (date, notes).

    ____

    ____

    8.

    Hazardous materials (reviewed, received).

    ____

    ____

    9.

    Mobility devices securement training (date, test date).

    ____

    ____

    10.

    Other _____________________________________________________

    APPENDIX F. EMPLOYEE STATUS CHECKLIST

    ITEM

    CURRENT

    DATE

    NEXT SCHEDULE

    MGR.

    INITIALS

    PASS

    FAIL

    1 Physical

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    2. Eye Exam

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    A. Night Vision

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    3. Mobility Device Securement

    A. __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    B. __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    C. __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    4. Passenger

    Relations

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    5. Defensive

    Driving

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    5. Defensive

    Driving

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    6. Emer. Acc. Procedures

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    7. Safety Plan

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    A. Near Miss

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    B. Facility

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    C. Disabled

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    D. Fueling

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    E. (Local)

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    F. (Local)

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    8. Driver's License

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    9. First Aid

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    10. CPR

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    11. Air Brakes

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    12. Pre-trip

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    13. Other

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    APPENDIX G. VEHICLE DEFECT REPORT

    (Drivers Must Turn In Report)

    ENGINE:

    OTHER:

    Misses______________

    Doesnt Idle__________

    Steering_____________

    No Power___________

    Accelerator__________

    W/Shield Wiper______

    Temp_______________

    Oil Pressure__________

    Horns_______________

    Oil Leaks____________

    Water Leaks_________

    Int. Lights___________

    Air Pres.____________

    Exhaust_____________

    Ext. Lights___________

    Alternator___________

    Starter______________

    Batteries____________

    Trans.______________

    Windows____________

    Seats_______________

    APPENDIX H. MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST

    # _____________________

    DATE __________________________

    MILES _________________

    TECH __________________________

    ________________________________________________________________________

    ITEM

    ITEM

    LIGHTS

    OK

    BAD

    EXHAUST SYSTEM

    OK

    BAD

    1. Headlights-High

    X

    X1. Muffler

    X

    X

    2. 4-ways

    X

    X

    2.Tail Pipe

    X

    X

    3. Turn Signal

    X

    X

    3. Crossover Pipe

    X

    X

    4. Tail Lights

    X

    X

    4. Exhaust Pipe

    X

    X

    5. Clearance

    X

    X

    6. Back-up

    X

    X

    DRIVE LINE

    7. I.D. Lights

    X

    X

    8. I.D. Warn. Lights

    X

    X

    1. U-joints

    X

    X

    9. Inside Dome

    X

    X

    2. Center Brg.

    X

    X

    10. Step Lights

    X

    X

    11. Brake Lights

    X

    X

    REAR END

    BRAKES

    1. Axle

    X

    X

    2. Pinion

    X

    X

    1. Lining RF

    X

    X

    3. Cover Gasket

    X

    X

    LF

    X

    X

    RR

    X

    X

    STEERING

    LR

    X

    X

    2. Pedal

    X

    X

    1. Pump

    X

    X

    3. Hand

    X

    X

    2. Sector

    X

    X

    4. Master Cylinder

    X

    X

    3. Ball Joints- Upper

    X

    X

    5. Booster

    X

    X

    Lower

    X

    X

    4. Tie Rod Ends-Inner

    X

    X

    ENGINE

    Outer

    X

    X

    5. Pittman Arm

    X

    X

    1. Oil Pressure

    X

    X

    6. Idler Arm

    X

    X

    2. Speed

    X

    X

    TRANSMISSION

    FLUIDS

    1. Shifts

    X

    X

    1. Engine Oil

    X

    X

    2. Leaks

    X

    X

    2. Transmission Oil

    X

    X

    3. Clutch Disc

    X

    X

    3. Brake Fluid

    X

    X

    4. Clutch Pedal

    X

    X

    4. Coolant

    X

    X

    5. Clutch Brg.

    X

    X

    5. Power Steering

    X

    X

    6. Clutch Plate

    X

    X

    6. W/Washer

    X

    X

    7. Rear End

    X

    X

    BELTS & HOSES

    OK

    BAD

    SPRINGS

    OK

    BAD

    1. Fan

    X

    X

    1. RF

    X

    X

    2. Alternator

    X

    X

    2. LF

    X

    X

    3. Power Steering

    X

    X

    3. RR

    X

    X

    4. Air Pump

    X

    X

    4. LR

    X

    X

    5. Rad.-Upper

    X

    X

    - Lower

    X

    X

    SHOCKS

    X

    X

    6. Heater Hoses

    X

    X

    1. RF

    X

    X

    ELECTRIC

    2. LF

    X

    X

    3. RR

    X

    X

    1. Horn

    X

    X

    4. LR

    X

    X

    2. W/Wipers

    X

    X

    3. Heaters

    X

    X

    CHARGING SYSTEM

    X

    X

    4. Doors-Front

    X

    X

    5. Doors-Rear-Buzz

    X

    X

    STARTING SYSTEM

    X

    X

    6. Wiring

    X

    X

    7. Gauges

    X

    X

    BATTERY

    X

    X

    8. Lift Operation

    BATTERY CABLE & ENDS

    X

    X

    TIRES

    WINDOWS & MIRRORS

    X

    X

    1. RF

    X

    X

    2. LF

    X

    X

    BODY CONDITION

    X

    X

    3. RR

    X

    X

    4. LR

    X

    X

    DOORS OPEN & LUBE

    X

    X

    5. RR Inner

    X

    X

    6. LR-Inner

    X

    X

    1. Front

    X

    X

    2. Rear

    X

    X

    WHEEL & LUG & BRGS

    3. Side

    X

    X

    1. RF

    X

    X

    SERVICE

    YES

    NO

    2. LF

    X

    X

    3. RR

    X

    X

    GREASE

    YES

    NO

    4. LR

    X

    X

    OIL

    YES

    NO

    FILTER

    YES

    NO

    APPENDIX I. VEHICLE SAFETY INSPECTION CHECKLIST

    DATE:_____________

    VEHICLE I.D.____________________ DRIVER I.D._____________________

    STARTING MILEAGE_____________ ENDING MILEAGE_______________

    Note: Describe any vehicle problems that occurred during this shift:

    ________________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________________

    OK NEEDS ATTENTION REMARKS

    1. Engine Start

    Starter |___| |___|

    Park. Brake |___| |___|

    Oil Pressure |___| |___|

    Bat./Alternator |___| |___|

    Fuel Amount |___| |___|

    Air Pressure |___| |___|

    Brake Light(Dash) |___| |___|

    Engine Sound |___| |___|

    Warm Up

    Wipers/Washer |___| |___|

    Left Mirror |___| |___|

    Rearview Mirror |___| |___|

    Right Mirror |___| |___|

    Seat Belt |___| |___|

    Horn |___| |___|

    Steering Wheel |___| |___|

    Brake Pedal |___| |___|

    Gas Pedal |___| |___|

    Blower/Fan |___| |___|

    Interior Lights |___| |___|

    Interior Signs |___| |___|

    2-Way Radio |___| |___|

    ______________ |___| |___|

    ______________ |___| |___|

    SHUT DOWN ENGINE, TURN OFF LIGHTS.

    UNDER THE HOOD

    OK NEEDS ATTENTION REMARKS

    Engine Oil |___| |___|

    Radiator Fluid |___| |___|

    Washer Fluid |___| |___|

    Belts/Hoses |___| |___|

    ______________ |___| |___|

    ______________ |___| |___|

    ______________ |___| |___|

    RESTART ENGINE - TURN LIGHTS ON AGAIN

    U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1994-501-951/00020

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