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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-12-026
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: Evaluate the adequacy of barrier systems currently approved through National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 350 or the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware for safely redirecting commercial passenger vehicles and, if warranted, develop new barrier designs incorporating appropriate height and deflection characteristics capable of safely redirecting commercial passenger vehicles.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Highway
Location: New York City, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: Yes
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:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (Open - Acceptable Response)
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: Crash test performance levels for barrier systems have evolved. With improvements, barriers could potentially safely redirect motorcoaches and buses, even in high-speed collisions. As a result of the New York City crash, the NTSB recommended that AASHTO (NTSB 2012b): Evaluate the adequacy of barrier systems currently approved through National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 350 or the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware for safely redirecting commercial passenger vehicles and, if warranted, develop new barrier designs incorporating appropriate height and deflection characteristics capable of safely redirecting commercial passenger vehicles. (H-12-26) Safety Recommendation H-12-26 is classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE. However, because it is essential that commercial passenger vehicles be protected from roadside hazards in the event of a run-off-the-road crash, the NTSB reiterates this recommendation and reclassifies it “Open—Unacceptable Response.” This change in classification is due to the AASHTO delay in (1) evaluating barrier system adequacy and developing new barrier systems designs (if warranted) for safely redirecting commercial passenger vehicles; and (2) revising the RDG to incorporate guidance on the selection of high-performance barriers for shielding commercial passenger vehicles from roadside hazards, considering the unique aspects of point hazards.

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: The current edition of the AASHTO Roadside Design Guide (RDG) and the AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) do not evaluate or make recommendations as to the barrier performance level needed for large commercial passenger vehicles. The crash test criteria, as conducted under NCHRP Report 350 and MASH for trucks and tractor-trailer combinations under test levels 4 and 5 (TL-4 and TL-5) may accommodate redirective ability with large commercial vehicles such as buses. Impacts into roadside barriers, regardless of type of vehicle or test level performance, will result in a risk of injury to the vehicle's occupants. The intent of the barrier is to reduce the severity of the impact and injuries through redirection of the vehicle. The Subcommittee on Design and the Technical Committee on Roadside Safety of AASHTO will handle this issue of assessing appropriate performance test level for these special types of vehicles on their agenda for further discussion.