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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-15-002
Details
Synopsis: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has investigated many highway accidents where onboard video systems recorded critical crash-related information. This safety report discusses two recent crashes where continuous video systems were installed on commercial vehicles. In a 2012 school bus crash in Port St. Lucie, Florida, the video recording system captured all three phases of the crash, including precrash driver and passenger behaviors and vehicle motion; vehicle and occupant motion during the crash; and postcrash events, such as passenger evacuation, short-term injury outcomes, and emergency response. In a 2011 motorcoach crash in Kearney, Nebraska, the video recording system captured critical precrash information but had certain limitations that negated the potential benefits of crash and postcrash event data. This report summarizes the analysis of the onboard video systems from these two crashes in particular. Further, to advance biomechanical and pediatric trauma-based research, it presents the video analysis and subsequent extensive injury documentation from the Port St. Lucie investigation. The NTSB makes recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; to the American Bus Association, United Motorcoach Association, American Trucking Associations, American Public Transportation Association, National Association for Pupil Transportation, National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, and National School Transportation Association; and to 15 manufacturers of onboard video systems.
Recommendation: TO THE AMERICAN BUS ASSOCIATION, UNITED MOTORCOACH ASSOCIATION, AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATIONS, AMERICAN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ASSOCIATION, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR PUPIL TRANSPORTATION, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF STATE DIRECTORS OF PUPIL TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, AND NATIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION ASSOCIATION: Encourage your members to ensure that any onboard video system in their vehicles provides visibility of the driver and of each occupant seating location, visibility forward of the vehicle, optimized frame rate, and low-light recording capability.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Await Response
Mode: Highway
Location: Port Saint Lucie, FL, United States
Is Reiterated: Yes
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: HWY12FH008
Accident Reports:
Report #: SR-15-01
Accident Date: 3/26/2012
Issue Date: 4/29/2015
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Bus Association (Open - Await Response)
American Public Transportation Association (Open - Acceptable Response)
American Trucking Associations, Inc. (Closed - Acceptable Action)
National Association for Pupil Transportation (Closed - Acceptable Action)
National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (Closed - Acceptable Action)
National School Transportation Association (Closed - Acceptable Action)
United Motorcoach Association (Open - Await Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: American Bus Association
Date: 4/29/2015
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. The NTSB determines the probable cause of the accidents and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, the NTSB carries out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinates the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. We are providing the following information to urge the American Public Transportation Association to take action on the safety recommendation being issued in this letter. On March 3, 2015, the NTSB adopted its safety report on Commercial Vehicle Onboard Video Systems.1 We have investigated many highway accidents where onboard video systems recorded critical crash-related information. This report summarizes the documentation and analysis of onboard video systems from two crashes in particular. We also discuss the benefits of these systems and recommend specific improvements. In addition, we issued a safety alert on commercial vehicle onboard video systems and tips for improving their utility, and developed a drop-in article summarizing safety issues for use by the seven associations receiving this recommendation. The report and the resulting recommendations may be found at our website, www.ntsb.gov,under report number NTSB/SR-15/01. As a result of this investigation, we issued three new recommendations, including one to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; one to 15 manufacturers of onboard video systems; and the following recommendation to the American Bus Association, United Motorcoach Association, American Trucking Associations, American Public Transportation Association, National Association for Pupil Transportation, National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, and National School Transportation Association: H-15-2 Encourage your members to ensure that any onboard video system in their vehicles provides visibility of the driver and of each occupant seating location, visibility forward of the vehicle, optimized frame rate, and low-light recording capability. Acting Chairman HART and Members SUMWALT and WEENER concurred in this recommendation. The NTSB is vitally interested in this recommendation because it is designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate receiving a response from you within 90 days detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement it. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendation by number. We encourage you to submit your response electronically to correspondence@ntsb.gov.

From: NTSB
To: United Motorcoach Association
Date: 4/29/2015
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. The NTSB determines the probable cause of the accidents and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, the NTSB carries out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinates the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. We are providing the following information to urge the American Public Transportation Association to take action on the safety recommendation being issued in this letter. On March 3, 2015, the NTSB adopted its safety report on Commercial Vehicle Onboard Video Systems.1 We have investigated many highway accidents where onboard video systems recorded critical crash-related information. This report summarizes the documentation and analysis of onboard video systems from two crashes in particular. We also discuss the benefits of these systems and recommend specific improvements. In addition, we issued a safety alert on commercial vehicle onboard video systems and tips for improving their utility, and developed a drop-in article summarizing safety issues for use by the seven associations receiving this recommendation. The report and the resulting recommendations may be found at our website, www.ntsb.gov,under report number NTSB/SR-15/01. As a result of this investigation, we issued three new recommendations, including one to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; one to 15 manufacturers of onboard video systems; and the following recommendation to the American Bus Association, United Motorcoach Association, American Trucking Associations, American Public Transportation Association, National Association for Pupil Transportation, National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, and National School Transportation Association: H-15-2 Encourage your members to ensure that any onboard video system in their vehicles provides visibility of the driver and of each occupant seating location, visibility forward of the vehicle, optimized frame rate, and low-light recording capability. Acting Chairman HART and Members SUMWALT and WEENER concurred in this recommendation. The NTSB is vitally interested in this recommendation because it is designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate receiving a response from you within 90 days detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement it. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendation by number. We encourage you to submit your response electronically to correspondence@ntsb.gov.

From: NTSB
To: American Trucking Associations, Inc.
Date: 9/3/2015
Response: We are pleased that you published the recommended information in your electronic newsletter and that you encourage your members to voluntarily adopt safety tools and technologies as they become available. These actions satisfy Safety Recommendation H-15-2, which is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: American Trucking Associations, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 5/22/2015
Response: -From David Osiecki, Executive Vice President, American Trucking Association: Thank you for your April 29, 2015 letter forwarding your recommendation H-15-2 to the American Trucking Associations, Inc. (ATA). As requested, ATA has provided this recommendation to its full membership. The recommendation was sent to all ATA members on May 12, 2015 through our electronic newsletter system, The Dispatch. That version of ATA’s newsletter is displayed below. ATA is proud to represent member carriers that put safety first. We know first-hand that ATA member carrier are increasingly adopting safety technologies such as critical event recorders, and using the captured data to provide behavioral coaching to drivers who need it. We’re pleased to report that, as a result, many of our member companies have seen significant decreases in the number of at-fault collisions as well as near misses. ATA will continue to encourage voluntary adoption of safety tools and technologies.

From: NTSB
To: American Public Transportation Association
Date: 5/29/2019
Response: We note that you are considering whether developing a recommended practice for inward and outward-facing cameras on transit buses is appropriate. We are disappointed that, 4 years after we issued this recommendation, you are still deliberating taking the recommended action. We urge you to begin this needed development without further delay. Pending your development of a standard for onboard video systems in transit buses that satisfies Safety Recommendation H-15-2, it is classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: American Public Transportation Association
To: NTSB
Date: 1/28/2019
Response: -From Paul P. Skoutelas, President and Chief Executive Officer: APTA, through its rail transit Operating Practices Working Group (OPWG), has been developing a rail standard for inward and outward facing cameras. This standard has been balloted by the working group and APTA intends to publish the document as a recommended practice in March 2019. We will include reference to the NTSB Recommendation in the final document that is published. In addition, APTA is in the process of determining whether it will develop a recommended practice for inward and outward-facing cameras on the bus side. Currently, APTA is considering the appropriateness for the development of a recommended practice for bus. These recommended practices are developed by industry members, and therefore constitute consensus among the rail transit agencies. Once these recommended practices (if accepted) are approved by the Rail Transit CEOs and the Bus Transit CEOs Committees, member agencies are made aware of their publication. APTA believes it will be meeting the intent of the NTSB Recommendation H-15-2 this year, and accordingly requests that the recommendation be classified as “closed” once the standard is approved.

From: NTSB
To: American Public Transportation Association
Date: 10/16/2018
Response: In the 3 years since we issued this recommendation, we have not received any information on your actions to satisfy it, and it is currently classified OPEN--AWAIT RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: American Public Transportation Association
Date: 4/29/2015
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. The NTSB determines the probable cause of the accidents and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, the NTSB carries out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinates the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. We are providing the following information to urge the American Public Transportation Association to take action on the safety recommendation being issued in this letter. On March 3, 2015, the NTSB adopted its safety report on Commercial Vehicle Onboard Video Systems.1 We have investigated many highway accidents where onboard video systems recorded critical crash-related information. This report summarizes the documentation and analysis of onboard video systems from two crashes in particular. We also discuss the benefits of these systems and recommend specific improvements. In addition, we issued a safety alert on commercial vehicle onboard video systems and tips for improving their utility, and developed a drop-in article summarizing safety issues for use by the seven associations receiving this recommendation. The report and the resulting recommendations may be found at our website, www.ntsb.gov,under report number NTSB/SR-15/01. As a result of this investigation, we issued three new recommendations, including one to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; one to 15 manufacturers of onboard video systems; and the following recommendation to the American Bus Association, United Motorcoach Association, American Trucking Associations, American Public Transportation Association, National Association for Pupil Transportation, National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, and National School Transportation Association: H-15-2 Encourage your members to ensure that any onboard video system in their vehicles provides visibility of the driver and of each occupant seating location, visibility forward of the vehicle, optimized frame rate, and low-light recording capability. Acting Chairman HART and Members SUMWALT and WEENER concurred in this recommendation. The NTSB is vitally interested in this recommendation because it is designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate receiving a response from you within 90 days detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement it. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendation by number. We encourage you to submit your response electronically to correspondence@ntsb.gov.

From: NTSB
To: National Association for Pupil Transportation
Date: 11/7/2016
Response: Reiterated in the Highway Accident Brief “School Bus Roadway Departure” Nohl Ranch Canyon Road, Anaheim, Orange County, California, April 24, 2014 Report Number: NTSB/HAB-16/06, published on November 7, 2016, Notation number 8782: In 2012, the NTSB investigated a school bus crash in Chesterfield, New Jersey.8 The school bus in that crash was equipped with passenger lap-only belts and, because several students were wearing the belts improperly or not at all, the NTSB recommended that the states of California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Texas— Develop (1) a handout for your school districts to distribute annually to students and parents about the importance of the proper use of all types of passenger seat belts on school buses, including the potential harm of not wearing a seat belt or wearing one but not adjusting it properly; and (2) training procedures for schools to follow during the twice yearly emergency drills to show students how to wear their seat belts properly. (H-13-32) This recommendation is currently classified “Open—Await Response” for the state of California. Because several students and the bus driver were not properly wearing the available lap/shoulder belts while the Anaheim school bus was in motion, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendation H-13-32 to the state of California.

From: NTSB
To: National Association for Pupil Transportation
Date: 9/29/2015
Response: We are pleased that you published the recommended information in your electronic newsletter and in an article in the July 2015 issue of School Bus Fleet magazine. We also commend your work with your school bus transportation counterparts to modify the National School Transportation Specifications and Procedures. Your actions satisfy Safety Recommendation H-15-2, which is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: National Association for Pupil Transportation
To: NTSB
Date: 8/17/2015
Response: -From Michael J. Martin, Executive Director and CEO, National Association for Pupil Transportation: The National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) is pleased to respond to NTSB Recommendation H-15-2 regarding cameras aboard school buses. Onboard cameras have become increasingly important to pupil transportation and many school districts and private operators already use them. In addition to providing a record of student and driver behavior on buses, and documenting boarding area safety, as NTSB points out these cameras are also helpful in recording crash circumstances and accident analysis. NAPT notified its members of recommendation H-15-2 in the May 5, 2015 “NAPT Dispatch”, our electronic newsletter that is distributed directly a mailing list of over 7,000 people each week. We provided people with a direct link to the NTSB news release that was issued on April 29, 2015. In the spirit of the recommendation, we collaborated later that month with our partners in the 16th National Congress of School Transportation (NCST) to add language to the National School Transportation Specifications and Procedures regarding the use of onboard cameras. Thereafter, we highlighted H-15-2 in particular and the importance of onboard cameras in general in an article by one of our board members that was published in the July issue of School Bus Fleet magazine, which is distributed each month to nearly 25,000 transportation professionals. Finally, we look forward to remarks by Chairman Hart at our annual Summit in Richmond, Va., November 7-10, 2015 and trust he will use the occasion to underscore why NTSB made this recommendation. In short, NAPT support NTSB recommendation H-15-2 and appreciates NTSB’s ongoing interest in school bus safety. NAPT will continue to encourage its members to remember and refer to H-15-2 and the safety alert you created, providing tips for improving the utility of onboard videos (available at www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety-alerts), as they evaluate and make decisions about the equipment options they have available. Onboard cameras will continue to be an important component to school bus safety and system accountability, and will continue to be reflected in our ongoing membership communications. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

From: NTSB
To: National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services
Date: 4/6/2017
Response: We note that, on March 3, 2015, the National Congress on School Transportation (NCST), comprising school transportation associations including NASDPTS, adopted this recommendation to encourage all members to use properly installed and maintained video systems to enhance school bus operational safety by providing important data for accident investigations. We are pleased that you further informed your members about our onboard video system study and offered to provide them additional installation and use guidance. These actions satisfy Safety Recommendation H-15-2, which is classified CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services
To: NTSB
Date: 2/6/2017
Response: -From Charlie Hood, Executive Director: In 2015, the NTSB issued Safety Report NTSB/SR-15/01, Commercial Vehicle Onboard Video Systems. The report focused on two crashes in which continuous onboard video systems recorded critical crash-related information. In a 2011 motor coach crash in Kearney, Nebraska, the video system captured critical pre-crash information, but had certain limitations that negated the potential benefits of crash and post-crash event data. In a 2012 school bus crash in Port St. Lucie, Florida, the video recording system captured all three phases of the crash, including precrash driver and passenger behaviors and vehicle motion; vehicle and occupant motion during the crash; and post-crash events, such as passenger evacuation, short-term injury outcomes, and emergency response. The report noted the need to improve the visibility of all passenger seating positions to the cameras when installing onboard video systems. In addition, the report indicated that to understand the motion of the vehicle during a crash and to record any surrounding vehicles, onboard video systems require improved range of coverage forward of the vehicle. In the agency’s Highway Accident Brief on the 2014 Anaheim, California school bus crash, released in October 2016, the NTSB noted that the bus was also equipped with an onboard video recording system. The video recording provided data reflecting the trip, the crash sequence, and the post-crash response. The driver and some students were recorded in the camera views. The video showed that the driver was not using a cell phone, nor was he distracted, before the crash event. It also showed that, during the trip, the driver did not always wear his lap/shoulder belt. The video also documented the driver slumping over and letting go of the steering wheel just prior to the crash, and his unresponsiveness for the duration of the crash event and for most of the period recorded post-crash. Based on the video evidence, the NTSB concluded that the school bus departed the roadway as a result of the driver’s loss of consciousness. The NTSB further concluded that the continuous onboard video recording system provided valuable data concerning the driver’s physical state and loss of consciousness prior to the crash sequence. The above summaries, paraphrased from the NTSB brief, do not provide the full detail contained within the reports, but are included to provide context to the agency’s safety recommendation and our response, discussed below. Based on the video evidence, the NTSB concluded that the school bus departed the roadway as a result of the driver’s loss of consciousness. The NTSB further concluded that the continuous onboard video recording system provided valuable data concerning the driver’s physical state and loss of consciousness prior to the crash sequence. The above summaries, paraphrased from the NTSB brief, do not provide the full detail contained within the reports, but are included to provide context to the agency’s safety recommendation and our response, discussed below. NASDPTS agrees with and supports this recommendation. Since the first National Conference (now “Congress”) on School Transportation (NCST) was convened in 1939, state directors of pupil transportation have been leaders of and parties to the congresses, now held every five years. The resulting standards documents, including the most recent 2015 edition of the National School Transportation Specifications and Procedures (NSTSP), have served as the primary guidelines for both school bus vehicle specifications and operational procedures used within the United States. The 2015 NSTSP, published in October 2016, includes guidance and several references regarding onboard video systems, primarily relating to monitoring of student and driver behavior, and monitoring and recording security incidents. In addition the NSTSP includes Resolution A, adopted by the delegates to the Congress, as follows: RESOLUTION A The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has worked with the sponsoring Associations of the NCST over the years in promoting safety within the School Bus Industry. WHEREAS, on March 3, 2015, the NTSB issued the following SAFETY RECOMMENDATION to the sponsoring Associations of NCST (NAPT, NSTA, and NASDPTS) as well as the American Bus Association, the United Motorcoach Association, American Trucking Association, and the American Public Transportation Association. TO encourage your members to ensure that any onboard video system in their vehicles provides visibility of the driver and of each occupant seating location, visibility forward of the vehicle, optimized frame rate, and low light recording capability. (H-15-2) BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NCST adopt this Resolution on May 20, 2015, for the purpose of providing important data for accident investigations to enhance the safety of our school bus operations. NASDPTS has notified its members of the publication and availability of the 2015 NSTSP as both a bound hard-copy and a free PDF download, and we have encouraged its use by states and local school districts when developing their bus specifications and operational procedures. We believe that it is important to remind our members directly about the 2015 NTSB Safety Report NTSB/SR-15/01, Commercial Vehicle Onboard Video Systems, and the supporting evidence released in the Anaheim report. NASDPTS emphasizes to states and local school districts the importance of properly specifying onboard video systems and ensuring they are functioning as designed. We recognize there is more that can and should be done to encourage installation and use of video systems that perform optimally and include at least the features outlined in the NTSB recommendation. Several of the member companies within the NASDPTS Supplier Council, including the supplier of the system in the Anaheim bus, are manufacturers and sellers of onboard video systems for school buses. As part of our transmittal to state directors, we are asking them to advise us whether further guidance on this recommendation may be useful to them. We are seeking input from states on whether it would be useful to states and local school districts to involve them and their video system suppliers in collecting model specifications and procedures for the purchase, installation, and use of onboard video systems. If affirmed, NASDPTS will then post such information as resources on our website for ready availability by any party. NASDPTS is copying this response concurrently to our state director members. We are also ensuring the NTSB receives a concurrent copy of our memorandum of transmittal to state directors.

From: NTSB
To: National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services
Date: 11/7/2016
Response: Reiterated in the Highway Accident Brief “School Bus Roadway Departure” Nohl Ranch Canyon Road, Anaheim, Orange County, California, April 24, 2014 Report Number: NTSB/HAB-16/06, published on November 7, 2016, Notation number 8782: In 2015, the NTSB published a safety report titled Commercial Vehicle Onboard Video Systems.11 The report noted the need to improve the visibility of all passenger seating positions to the cameras when installing onboard video systems. In addition, the report indicated that to understand the motion of the vehicle during a crash and to record any surrounding vehicles, onboard video systems require improved range of coverage forward of the vehicle. The report discussed how video recordings can be used as a tool to enforce rules, such as seat belt use. Not all students were wearing their seat belts at the time of the Anaheim crash; therefore, this crash emphasizes that making all passenger seating positions visible to onboard video systems could enable better enforcement of seat belt use, which would improve passenger safety. Further, if the video system had had greater range of coverage forward of the school bus, investigators would have had a better understanding of the vehicle dynamics as the bus left the roadway and struck the light pole and two trees. In the 2015 safety report, the NTSB made the following Safety Recommendation H-15-2 to the American Trucking Associations, National Association for Pupil Transportation, National School Transportation Association, American Bus Association, United Motorcoach Association, American Public Transportation Association, and National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services: Encourage your members to ensure that any onboard video system in their vehicles provides visibility of the driver and of each occupant seating location, visibility forward of the vehicle, optimized frame rate, and low-light recording capability. (H-15-2) Safety Recommendation H-15-2 is classified “Open—Await Response” for the American Bus Association, United Motorcoach Association, American Public Transportation Association, and National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services. The other three recipients responded favorably to the recommendation, such that it is classified “Closed–Acceptable Action” for them. Therefore, because this recommendation is still open to one association affiliated with school transportation, and given the deficiencies with the onboard video system identified during the Anaheim school bus investigation, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendation H-15-2 to the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services.

From: NTSB
To: National School Transportation Association
Date: 9/29/2015
Response: We are pleased that you published the recommended information in your electronic newsletter and spoke about this issue to NSTA members at your 2015 annual meeting. We also commend your efforts to make onboard video system vendors available at the meeting to educate NSTA members about these systems. Your actions satisfy Safety Recommendation H 15 2, which is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: National School Transportation Association
To: NTSB
Date: 7/27/2015
Response: -From Ronna Sable Weber, Executive Director: The Safety Recommendation was accompanied by a drop-in article prepared by the Board summarizing the safety issues for use by our Association in providing information to our members. NSTA provided notice of the safety recommendation and also provided the complete drop-in article as prepared by NTSB in our April 29, 2015 and May 13, 2015 electronic newsletters to our members. In addition, this issue was discussed by both NSTA’s Government Relations Committee on May 11, 2015 and by NSTA’s Safety & Security Committee on May 26, 2015. Finally, NSTA Executive Director Ronna Weber also informed members publicly of this recommendation during prepared remarks at NSTA’s Annual Meeting and Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Monday, July 20. Finally, NSTA provided our membership the opportunity to meet with onboard camera suppliers and learn about the technologies at our Annual Meeting and Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Monday, July 20. We hope the Board will view these actions as responsive to its recommendation. We appreciate the opportunity to respond to your recommendation and look forward to continuing to work with the National Transportation Safety Board. We take safety very seriously and are very proud of the work we do each and every day to transport children to school safely as well as the charter work we operate.