Report: SEPTA Buses Have Dangerous Mirror Flaw

A report from Action News says several deaths have been caused because SEPTA drivers are unable to see pedestrians due to a blind spot.

SEPTAbus48-driving-behind-taxiAll week Action News has been promoting a story about a “deadly bus flaw” with SEPTA buses, a flaw that is so dangerous the station had to wait until Thursday night to tell us about it.

But last night’s report did not disappoint: Channel 6 reports SEPTA internal memos say the left-side bus mirror has about a 5-foot blind spot. “In my estimation there could be a thousand close calls a day out there,” Ed Ruth, a former SEPTA bus driver, told the station.

SEPTA, though, sees the risk as acceptable — which the union disputes.

“How many deaths does it take before someone says, ‘SEPTA do something about your safety issue,” said Carl Greer, union rep.

SEPTA conducted an internal study of the mirrors and confirmed “an operator can lose sight of a pedestrian for approximately 2 seconds.”

However in that same report SEPTA called that “an acceptable risk.” A study this year reported “up to 17 feet of crosswalk cannot be seen by the operator when executing a left hand turn.”

SEPTA says it’s replacing the mirrors, but not because of the Action News report. It also says there will always be a blind spot, but it teaches its drivers methods that allow them to see pedestrians.

[6 ABC]