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On March 12, 2011, about 5:38 a.m., a 1999 Prevost 56-passenger motorcoach, operated by World Wide Travel of Greater New York, headquartered in Brooklyn, was traveling southbound on Interstate 95, en route from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, to New York City, and carrying 32 passengers. While in the vicinity of mile marker 3.2, the motorcoach departed from the travel lanes to the right, driving over the rumble strips on the right shoulder edge. The motorcoach then crossed over the 10-foot-wide paved shoulder and struck a strong-post W-beam guardrail, traveling about 480 feet alongside and on the guardrail, before finally overturning 90° onto its right side and flattening the guardrail. The front of the vehicle subsequently collided with a vertical highway signpost consisting of two vertical 8-inch-diameter steel tubular poles linked by cross-beam diagonal metal supports. The front roof also collided with a steel electrical box mounted to the sign support structure. After the motorcoach struck the support structure and electrical box, the two poles entered the passenger compartment along the base of the passenger windows as the vehicle slid forward. The impact resulted in the roof panel being torn from the bus body for almost the entire length of the bus. As a result of this accident, 15 passengers were killed, 17 passengers received serious-to-minor injuries, and the bus driver received minor injuries.
TO THE FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ADMINISTRATION: Upon completion of the field operational tests for onboard monitoring systems, determine whether test results indicate that such systems would reduce accidents or injuries, and, if so, require commercial motor carriers to use these systems to improve driver safety.
Original recommendation transmittal letter:
Closed - Acceptable Action
New York City, NY, United States
Motorcoach Run-Off-the-Road and Collision With Vertical Highway Signpost, Interstate 95 Southbound
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status:
FMCSA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Safety Recommendation History
Although we are disappointed that you intend to take no further action regarding the recommended systems, we recognize that you evaluated the field operational test results and that your research did not sufficiently support requiring the use of an onboard monitoring system. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation H-12-14 is classified CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION.
-From Michael J. Jordan, USDOT/FMCSA MC-PRS, Strategic Planning and Program Evaluation: • FMCSA completed a field operational test for onboard monitoring systems. The final report is available for download at https://ntl.bts.gov/lib/60000/60500/60504/15-019-OBMS_FOT_FINAL-508C.pdf. • Under most scenarios, findings from the field operation test suggest that onboard monitoring helped to reduce critical event rates. However, that effectiveness is heavily dependent on the carrier and the coaching provided to drivers. • Further, the field operational test provided mixed results with respect to fleet crash data. One fleet had no statistically significant change between the pre-intervention and intervention phases, while one fleet did experience a statistically significant decrease in crash rate. • FMCSA will continue to promote the use of onboard monitoring systems by commercial motor carriers; however, the field operational test did not provide cost-benefit justification to mandate the use of onboard monitoring systems by all motor carriers. • FMCSA requests NTSB close safety recommendation H-12-014.
We support the FMCSA’s plans to move forward with field testing of the onboard monitoring systems and to work with various system manufacturers to develop effective use guidance for carriers. Until these actions are complete, Safety Recommendations H 12 13 and 14 are classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.
-From Anne S. Ferro, Administrator: The FMCSA conducted a pilot test of a low-cost, on-board driver behavior monitoring system during the period of July 2007-July 2009. The study was conducted with two motor carriers (Carrier A, a long-haul carrier and Carrier B, a short-haul carrier) and 100 outfitted trucks over a 17-week period using devices manufactured by DriveCam. The Agency held a webinar on July 22, 2009, to share its preliminary findings, which is archived online. The results suggest the combination of on-board safety monitoring and behavioral coaching was responsible for the 'reduction in the mean rate of safety-related events/l 0,000' miles at Carriers A and B by 37 percent and 52 percent, respectively. The final report titled "Evaluating the Safety Benefits of a Low-Cost Driving Behavior Management System in Commercial Vehicle Operations" was published in June 2010. The FMCSA is currently conducting another on-board monitoring system field operational test. The goal of this effort is to develop and evaluate an on-board monitoring system that allows for direct measurement of a set of driving characteristics that are indicators of unsafe driving behavior. The Agency will be using a prototype system that integrates forward .col1ision warning, lane departure warning, electronic on board recorder, driver behavior monitoring, arid inattentive, drowsy, and aggressive driver detection. This research suite was developed to provide real-time feedback to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and carrier management via a roll-up report for discussion with the driver regarding their safety performance. The system has the potential to improve drivers' attentiveness and enhance their safety performance. Eighteen months of data collections and as much as 32 million miles of naturalistic driving data will be collected during the field operational test. The test will be completed in 2014 and involves multiple fleets and up to 270 trucks. This effort will be the largest naturalistic driving study ever conducted for CMV drivers. Once complete, it will provide FMCSA with additional data to use for policy and rulemaking activities regarding on-board monitoring systems. The Agency has also engaged the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence (NSTSCE) to develop guidance for motor carriers on how to most effectively use currently available on-board monitoring systems. The NSTSCE develops and disseminates advanced transportation safety techniques and innovations. The Center's mission is to use state-of-the-art facilities, including the Virginia Smart Road, to conduct the necessary research to improve driver safety in both rural and urban communities. The NSTSCE's strategic goals are to improve safety using an integrated and dynamic approach to developing and evaluating new devices and techniques for enhancing driver performance. If the project is selected and funded by NSTSCE, a best practices guide on using on-board monitoring systems would be available for dissemination in 2013. Additionally, FMC SA will pursue the possibility of working with several of the on-board monitoring systems providers such as DriveCam, Smart Drive, Qualcomm, and GreenRoads that currently have information posted at their respective websites for the development of materials regarding the effective use of on-board monitoring technology. The FMCSA will update NTSB once guidance has been completed and approved for dissemination. Based on the information provided, FMCSA respectfully requests that NTSB classify Safety Recommendation H-12-13 and H-12-14 as "Open-Acceptable."
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