Wednesday, January 30, 2013



always roaming said...

Yup, absolutely! I agree. Read my comments on the previous thread.

It would be so easy for a bus manufacturer to make the A-pillar thinner. It's a given to mount the left mirror either way above or way below the level of the driver's line of sight. Why isn't it insisted on by transit agencies in their procurement process that these considerations be mandatory?

How many more pedestrians will have to be killed by left-turning buses before anything is done??!!

(again, that illustration is of a Seattle Metro older Gillig Phantom making a left turn near the Seattle ferry terminal)

Erik H. said...

Didn't King County order buses (at least their New Flyers) whose mirrors are mounted from above, making it easier to look underneath the mirror?

always roaming said...

Well, from what I've observed, not all their new buses have the mirrors mounted from above and I'm pretty sure their New Flyer articulated coaches are not coming in that way.

When I worked there, one of the reasons the Safety Department didn't want the left mirror mounted from above was that they were afraid of accidents in the yard with mirrors of other coaches' right mirrors. Or they could be more prone to be sheared off by an inattentive driver when that driver is passing another bus that might be in a zone not used by the passing bus. Those are both a feeble excuses.

The left mirror should be mounted either from above so that it is substantially higher than the level of the driver's eyes OR substantially lower. Having to look slightly up or down to see into the left mirror is NOT any kind of a nuisance for an operator, in my opinion.

My argument was what is worse, having a few mirrors sheared off in yard accidents OR killing innocent pedestrians minding their own business crossing the street?

They obviously felt for a long time that damaging some mirrors was of more importance than killing human beings. Metro finally retrofitted their older Gilligs with shorter mirror housings and mounted them lower so that operators who are either short in stature or taller operators who just choose to sit lower in the seat, can now see over the mirror left housing making it much easier to detect pedestrians crossing the street.

I don't think Metro --and I'm sure Trimet too-- want to admit that it is in fact primarily the left mirror (and secondarily the windshield A-pillar) that is actually causing these left turn accidents as it puts them at risk of shouldering the entire liability of causing the death of an innocent pedestrian. They'd much rather blame the operator. It's much easier all around to put the entire reason for the accident on operator error. They've convinced the law enforcement agencies investigating these accidents that there shouldn't be any blame put on the equipment and the investigators seem to be buying their load of crap.

Unknown said...

The simple answer to this question, I posed waaaay back, was why weren't any trainers in on approval of the design, I was ignored. Plus, they do not get behind the wheel and drive them to see that blind spot for themselves. Lastly, the price for high mounted mirrors cost about $600 per left side of a bus, not cheap. I guess they are going to roll with them until another Sandy Day situation, I wonder what David Sale would say about the possibility of another accident with a left turn, Hmmmmmm???