Brothers and Sisters,
I am writing this concerning the so called “Safety Committee”. I had concerns about an issue that all of us operators worry about, “slip and falls”. I had gotten a PA, due to someone getting up on my bus to ring a bell, I had to make a hard stop and the person fell. I got blamed by 9 or so people, including trainers. When the so called “Safety Committee” was formed to take operator suggestions, I jumped at the chance to put pressure on them, to address the #2 safety issue “we” have (passengers getting up while the bus is in motion), here where my suggestions on how to deal with this:
1. Adding an auto announcement, no cost.
2. Replace the grip tape on busses, cost prohibited.
3. Post signage, some cost.
Here is their response: This was taken to the Safety Committee on 5/17/12. They did not want to try and force passengers to remain seated; it would become an enforcement issue for the operator and the committee felt it would be unsuccessful. Slips, trips and falls do sometimes occur while the bus is moving, but the operator can reduce the risk. Smooth braking and acceleration are essential and the need to brake suddenly can almost always be avoided through the use of proper scanning skills. The buses have non-slip floors which help but may not completely resolve the problem. Please submit a yellow card if you have a bus that seems to have a slippery floor problem.
Their response, in a nut-shell, blame the operator who has to scan every 5-8 seconds in the mirrors, accelerate and brake, concentrate on danger from “all” sides, verbal announcements, pulling into stops while not taking off mirrors, not hitting pedestrians who will do the dandiest things, not run other the guff-ball bicyclists, etc. All the while little frail grandma, wants to get to the door quickly, while not grabbing a bar/strap or anything stable. This “is” a recipe for disaster. This “is” clearly a safety hazard, and for a company that preaches safety, this is a “FAIL”
This Company, by far, in my experience is the “easiest” to scam, there are no signs (wet floor, take a seat, etc.), there are “no” policies for passengers to follow, other than “no eating or drinking” on the buses. If they fall, then Trimet “will” have to pay, even if it is on tape. I am surprised “we” don’t have more slip-and-fall cases due to the fact that “we” have rain most of the year. To just blame the operator and be done with it is a shame, when this company says safety is a top priority. Lastly, it gets really bad when passengers, who slip, bump, stumble, fall, ask the operator, “What is your policy” then requests an ambulance.