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Distracted driving

1,786 bytes added, 21:17, 6 February 2014
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'''This article is in progress'''[[Category:Managing transit]]
== Introduction ==
When the focus of a bus or rail operator is taken away from their surroundings, risk of collision and injury increases. Distracted driving is a serious safety concern and many agencies have taken steps to discourage these behaviors. Some states have enacted distracted driving laws with penalties for driving while using cell phones, for example <ref>USDOT. http://www.distraction.gov/ Accessed 13:30 on 26 January 2014</ref>. In California, all bus drivers are legally prohibited from any cell phone use in the performance of their duties.
An example of risk operators may not consider is capped water bottles: operators may take a drink while waiting at a stop light and subsequently drop the cap as the light turns green. If the operator is concerned about the cap rolling away, or perhaps under a pedal, they may take their eyes off the road to pick it up. This increases risk of collision. Operators may use water bottles without screw-on caps, but better is to discourage these habits except when parked.
* Agency Referring to maps and schedules is another operator distraction. A good operator training program should ensure familiarity with routes and information while driving* Other passengersand limit the need to refer to printed materials. Additionally, operators should only reference printed materials when they are fully stopped, usually at a bus stop. Passengers sometimes engage the operator in conversation or ask questions. Passengers can be asked to avoid chatting with operators, and the agency should train operators to check their focus and attention. Better training on all aspects of distractions makes operators aware of the risks and encourages better habits.
Assist === Agency distractions ===Some aspects of bus operator are "necessary" distractions, such as radio communication with better training and guidancedispatch, awareness of but the risk of distractionagency is responsible for mitigating these distractions. Dispatch communication should be minimal - this includes training for dispatcher protocol as much as operator training on appropriate radio use.
=== Agency distractions ===Service operating conditions are another area to consider. If an agency prioritized schedule adherence (on-time reliability), operators may stress to the point of distraction trying to keep up with the schedule. Service planners need to consider the [[Fixed-route scheduling|tightness of route timing]] and check for changing conditions on the road over time. Driver fatigue and fitness for duty is a major factor that should be monitored by supervisors.
Agencies can also help mitigate other circumstances on board the vehicle. Careful arrangement of controls keep ergonomics in mind and reduce the need for the operator to take their eyes off the road. Familiarity is also important - even vehicles of different eras and models can have similar switch layouts or farebox interfaces. These considerations extend also to vehicle mirror type and placement, and equipment maintenance. Sending buses out with jury-rigged systems and flashing warning lights is unsafe for all.
== Further Reading ==
Bureaucrats, engaged
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