RTD officials say better training may be necessary after preventable bus accidents jumped 14 percent in 2013.
A report produced by the Regional Transportation District found 341 preventable bus accidents in 2013 compared to 299 accidents in 2012. A preventable accident means a trained driver did not do everything possible to avoid the accident.
Training was touted by RTD as the reason the number of preventable bus accidents actually fell in 2012, more than 24 percent from 2011.
Now, officials say that training may need a shake-up.
“We are three years into our enhanced refresher driver training program,” Assistant General Manager of Bus Operations Bruce Abel says. “And so perhaps it’s becoming a little more routine than we might like it to be.”
Abel says all drivers will also go through a ride check program this year.
“Just as that extra set of eyes, to work with every operator,” Abel adds.
The majority of preventable accidents involved cars. Last year there were 135 accidents involving cars, and only one involving a bicycle.
Most bus accidents occur in the afternoon – 48 percent more than in the morning – when officials say traffic congestion may be worse.
The RTD report did not note injuries or fatalities. There were at least two fatalities in 2013, both occurring in the summer. Last July, a man was killed when he fell under a bus he was trying to catch. A month later a motorcycle rider was killed when he ran a stoplight and hit the side of a bus.