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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-12-025
Details
Synopsis: 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.
Recommendation: TO THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS: Work with the Federal Highway Administration to establish performance and selection guidelines for state transportation agencies to use in developing objective warrants for high-performance barriers applicable to new construction and rehabilitation projects where barrier replacement has been determined to be appropriate. (Superseded by Safety Recommendations H-17-044 and H-17-045)
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Superseded
Mode: Highway
Location: New York City, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: HWY11MH005
Accident Reports: Motorcoach Run-Off-the-Road and Collision With Vertical Highway Signpost, Interstate 95 Southbound
Report #: HAR-12-01
Accident Date: 3/12/2011
Issue Date: 7/12/2012
Date Closed: 11/13/2017
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (Closed - Superseded)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Date: 11/13/2017
Response: From the NTSB Highway Accident Report “Motorcoach Run-Off-the-Road and Collision with Vertical Highway Signpost, State Route 99, Livingston, California, August 2, 2016” HAR-17-03 Notation 57079: As a result of the 2011 New York City crash investigation, the NTSB made the following recommendations to the FHWA and AASHTO, respectively (NTSB 2012b): Work with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials to establish performance and selection guidelines for state transportation agencies to use in developing objective warrants for high-performance barriers applicable to new construction and rehabilitation projects where barrier replacement has been determined to be appropriate. (H-12-23) Work with the Federal Highway Administration to establish performance and selection guidelines for state transportation agencies to use in developing objective warrants for high-performance barriers applicable to new construction and rehabilitation projects where barrier replacement has been determined to be appropriate. (H-12-25) Although new TRB projects address fixed objects within the clear zone (NCHRP 17-82) and safety performance-based guidelines for the RDG (NCHRP 15-65), they do not consider the adequacy of barrier systems to safely redirect commercial passenger vehicles.80 At the same time, it is apparent that the RDG does not properly capture the current fleet of commercial buses. Safety Recommendations H-12-23 and -25 are classified “Open—Acceptable Response.” The highway design community is increasingly interested in incorporating risk-based approaches to highway safety improvements, as demonstrated by recent initiatives of the AASHTO Technical Committee on Roadside Safety. A risk-based approach will help prioritize cost-effective solutions in selecting high-performance barriers to shield fixed-base point hazards. The AASHTO Technical Committee and highway design community did not consider a risk-based approach in responding to Safety Recommendation H-12-25 (NTSB 2012b). Therefore, the NTSB reclassifies both Safety Recommendations H-12-23 and -25 CLOSED—SUPERSEDED. The NTSB recommends that the FHWA work with AASHTO to develop recommended guidelines, using a risk-based approach, for state transportation agencies to use in formulating objective warrants for high-performance barriers applicable to new construction and rehabilitation projects where barrier replacement has been determined to be appropriate. At minimum, the guidelines should include factors such as the percentage of commercial passenger vehicle traffic, crash history, and shielding requirements associated with fixed-base point hazards. The NTSB makes a corresponding recommendation to AASHTO.

From: NTSB
To: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Date: 5/23/2014
Response: This letter concerns 16 open safety recommendations that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials between 2002 and 2012. I understand that we received requests from your staff to speak at two of your July committee meetings regarding several of these open recommendations. I am pleased to inform you that NTSB staff members are available to attend both meetings. For the July 16, 2014, meeting in Portland, Maine, of the Technical Committee for Roadside Safety, Mr. Dan Walsh, General Engineer, Office of Highway Safety, and Ms. Julie Perrot, Highway Safety Recommendation Specialist, Office of the Managing Director, will make a presentation and be available to discuss the following 12 roadside barrier recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Date: 12/3/2013
Response: We note that AASHTO is working with the FHWA to develop objective warrants for high-performance barriers and that AASHTO committees are assessing the adequacy of current barrier systems. We look forward to receiving periodic updates on the several National Cooperative Highway Research Program projects that are currently underway to provide additional guidance for barrier selection. Pending the establishment of barrier performance and selection guidelines capable of shielding from hazards and safely redirecting commercial passenger vehicles, Safety Recommendations H-12-25 through -27 are classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE. Thank you for your efforts to improve barrier safety.

From: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
To: NTSB
Date: 9/30/2013
Response: -From Bud Wright, Executive Director: Currently, AASHTO has research projects that are being conducted through the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), which we expect will provide additional guidance for the selection of high-performance barriers. NCHRP 22-22(02), Placement of Traffic Barriers on Roadside and Median Slopes, and NCHRP 22-12(03), Recommended Guidelines for the Selection of Test Level2 through 5 Bridge Rails, as well as NCHRP Report 638, Guidelines for Guardrail Implementation, will assist in the development of guidance for state transportation agencies to use in selecting high-performance barriers. These research projects are scheduled to be completed in June 2014 and November 2013, respectively. Upon completion, the findings will be examined by AASHTO's Subcommittee on Design and the Technical Committee on Roadside Safety with assistance from FHW A for incorporation into the AASHTO Roadside Design Guide or other appropriate document.