By Ruth Davenport - Metro Halifax
HALIFAX - Metro Transit officials say two accidents involving buses and pedestrians in less than a week is unfortunate, but not reflective of a systemic failure.
A 62-year-old driver was ticketed for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk on Monday after a 60-year-old woman was hit at Barrington Street and Spring Garden Road.
Police say the woman was taken to hospital with injuries described as serious but not life-threatening.
“We do a lot of awareness training for our drivers, so obviously we hate it when something like this happens,” said Metro Transit spokesperson Brendan Elliott.
A 48-year-old bus driver was also ticketed on Sept. 17 after a 26-year-old woman was hit in a crosswalk at Wyse Road and Thistle Street. She was treated for minor injuries at the scene.
Although the two incidents had online commenters suggesting Metro Transit review driver training, Elliott said it’s not indicative of a trend.
“We can go months without anything happening,” he said. “When you think of the frequency of how many buses are on the roads in HRM, literally these drivers are out there all day and into the evening.”
Bus drivers are expected to maintain a valid Class 2 license, for which Metro Transit is accredited to conduct testing and training. Requirements for the license, as well as for any re-testing, are set by the province, but include a medical examination every five years up to the age of 64 and every year after that.
Elliott said an internal investigation follows any collision involving a bus.
“When we do an internal investigation, we’re looking to see if there’s anything that we can do better in the future to prevent another accident like this,” he said.
That investigation will also determine whether the driver undergoes additional training or is subject to any kind of sanction.
Ken Wilson, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 508, declined to comment while the investigation was underway.
So far this year, there have been eight collisions involving buses and pedestrians, matching the entire annual total of both 2012 and 2011.