Bus drivers are often in a very stressful position, ensuring that thousands of passengers safely arrive at their destinations each day. In 2012, 63 pedestrian accidents including three fatalities were caused due to SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) drivers, the most in recent history. With this increase in danger, SEPTA bus drivers are petitioning SEPTA to consider repositioning the exterior rear-view mirrors to allow for greater passenger and pedestrian safety.
While SEPTA management agrees that the mirrors can cause temporary blind spots, they are not yet willing to change the positioning of the mirrors on the entire fleet of 1,400 busses due to the other potential (and unknown) dangers that refitting could cause. The drivers argue that the vertical mirror placement specifically on the left side can cause drivers to not see pedestrians or cyclists who may come up on that side of the bus, therefore increasing the likelihood of a pedestrian accident in Philadelphia.
The drivers advised that smaller, square mirrors work better and are popular on many other bus models throughout the country; however, officials caution of newer concerns with smaller mirrors that may add to blind spots instead of reducing them. The bus drivers plan to continue to urge SEPTA to consider changes that have been successfully implemented in other cities such as Cleveland, where a bus announces to pedestrians that the bus is approaching.
The Philadelphia motor vehicle accident attorneys at Mednick, Mezyk & Kredo understand the plight the drivers face each day, and the pain that the families who have lost loved ones to bus accidents. We hope that compromise can be made to keep the citizens of Philadelphia safe.