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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-17-014
Synopsis: About 6:30 a.m. (local time) on Tuesday, November 1, 2016, a 2015 IC 64-passenger school bus was traveling east in the 4000 block of Frederick Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland. The school bus, operated by the motor carrier AAAfordable Transportation, was occupied by a 67-year-old driver and an adult teacher aide. No students were on the bus at the time. After the school bus traveled through the intersection of Frederick Avenue and South Loudon Avenue, it struck the rear of a 2012 Ford Mustang passenger car, which was also traveling east on Frederick Avenue. After striking the Ford Mustang, the school bus continued traveling east on Frederick Avenue, crossed through the center turn lane, and entered the westbound travel lane, where it collided with the left side of a 2005 New Flyer transit bus operated by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA). The transit bus was occupied by a 33-year-old driver and 13 passengers. As a result of the crash, the drivers of both buses and four transit bus passengers died. Seven transit bus passengers were seriously injured. Two transit bus passengers and the teacher aide on the school bus sustained minor injuries. The driver of the Ford Mustang also sustained minor injuries. Preliminary information suggests that neither bus driver was using a cell phone at the time of the crash. Both bus drivers had been driving for less than 3 hours when the crash occurred. Postcrash mechanical inspections of both buses identified no mechanical defects.
Recommendation: TO THE BALTIMORE CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS: As soon as the performance audit referenced in Safety Recommendation H-17-13 is complete, take the corrective actions recommended to improve internal controls and ensure that all school bus drivers meet the qualification standards under Code of Maryland Regulations sections 13A.06.07.06–.07 and that they do not pose any safety risks.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Highway
Location: Baltimore, MD, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: HWY17MH007
Accident Reports: Preliminary Report: Highway HWY17MH007Safety Recommendation Report: Shortcomings of Driver Qualification Processes for Baltimore City Public Schools and of the Disqualified Driver Database for All Maryland School Districts
Report #: HSR-17-02
Accident Date: 11/1/2016
Issue Date: 4/11/2017
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: State of Maryland, City of Baltimore, Public School System (Open - Acceptable Response)

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: State of Maryland, City of Baltimore, Public School System
Date: 10/2/2017
Response: We note that you requested the MSDE conduct the recommended performance audit. Pending completion of the audit, including a review of crash reports and school bus driver disqualifying conditions under COMAR section 13A.06.07.07, and implementation of the recommended corrective actions, Safety Recommendations H-17-13 and -14 are classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Maryland, City of Baltimore, Public School System
Date: 6/5/2017
Response: -From Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, Chief Executive Officer, Baltimore City Public Schools: In compliance with the National Transportation Safety Report Board (NTSB), Recommendation Report, The Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) requests that the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) select a consultant and/or independent auditor to review and recommend improvements of BCPS's internal controls to ensure that all school bus drivers meet qualification standards under Code of Maryland Regulations 12A.06.07 .06.07. The Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) is available to assist in any way to ensure that drivers do not pose any safety risks to providing safe, timely and consistent services to students. Thanks in advance for your assistance in this request.

From: NTSB
To: State of Maryland, City of Baltimore, Public School System
Date: 4/11/2017
Response: On March 29, 2017, the NTSB adopted its safety recommendation report concerning the driver qualification processes for BCPS and the disqualified driver database for all Maryland school districts.1 Additional information about the issues and the resulting recommendations may be found in the safety recommendation report, which can be accessed at the NTSB website, under report number NTSB/HSR-17/02. As a result of this safety recommendation report, we issued one new safety recommendation to the Maryland State Department of Education, and the following two recommendations (one urgent) to BCPS.