A car accident that occurred at a Las Vegas bus stop on September 13th 2012 that resulted in the deaths of four people has shed light on the importance of safety at bus stops to prevent further mortality.
Jim Hall, the former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board and currently a managing partner of Hall and Associates LLC, a safety consulting firm, has voiced his opinion that the US government is doing little to protect commuters from incidents such as the September 13th tragedy. Bust stop safety has in particular been an area that has been neglected, says Hall.
According to eye witness reports, a driver later identified as Gary Lee Hosey Jr. was travelling at a speed of close to 100 mph when he lost control of his vehicle at the intersection of Decatur Boulevard and Spring Mountain Road in Las Vegas. Hosey’s vehicle spun off the road and into a group of commuters waiting at a bus stop.
This is not the first fatal incident to occur at a bus stop this month, and certainly not the last. On September the 12th, just one day before, two people were killed when a sports car swerved into a bus stop in Philadelphia.
Accidents such as these are entirely preventable if the government were to take up stricter safety standards at bus stops, according to Hall. Pedestrians that are waiting are bus stops and particularly vulnerable due to their exposed position on the side of busy highways and increasingly reckless driving from those on the roads.
Although the government has imposed a minimum setback distance from the highway for bus stops, there is little other infrastructure in place to protect commuters. Hall has called to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is the federal agency responsible for regulating safety on buses and at bus stops, to better enforce safety regulations at stops across the country.
Hall believes that if bus stops were to have similar safety measures in place as subway stations, for example, mortality from bus stop accidents would be greatly reduced if not eradicated altogether. Measures such as flashing lights when a bus is approaching, a warning signal when vehicles are travelling close to the bus stop and perhaps even physical barriers would all be relatively easy to institute and could save countless lives each year.
Recent legislation has provided grant money to the federal government to spend on improving the safety of public transport, and some of this should rightly be put to bus stop improvements.