Metro Safety Report Outlines Problems, Solutions to Prevent Injuries

A safety report issued by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority showed an increase in injuries to bus passengers and injuries to MetroRail customers using the escalators. The report for the year 2016 also outlined actions the agency took to reduce the instances of injuries to customers.

There was a 30 percent increase of non-preventable collisions resulting in an injury, specifically rear-end collisions. Hard braking events was another factor contributing to customer falls with an increase if 48 percent from 2015.

Metro has installed deceleration lights on the back of buses to potentially reduce rear-end collisions, alerting vehicles behind the bus that it is slowing down and coming to a stop. It is also using Drive Cam to identify hard braking area and coaching drivers on how to deal with these areas.

Customer injuries from slips and falls on Metro escalators increased by 13 percent in 2016. The report said these types of falls primarily occurred while the escalator was stopped and being used as stairs or when passengers were inattentive to their surroundings.

WMATA has begun a pilot program to make announcements at escalators, warning customers when the escalator is ending and reminding passengers to hold onto the handrail. Overall, station announcements will be increased to remind passengers to be aware of their surroundings and be safe while using the system.

The report also listed out the top 2016 key safety initiatives, including SafeTrack, red signal violation reductions, new bus technology and the retirement of 1000 and 4000 series of railcars.

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