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Safety changes for bus service after crash

A bus rolled back from its bay at the bus depot in Hamilton in June and crashed into the front of a hair salon (Photograph by David Skinner)

New safety measures for the bus service are being put in place after an investigation found that a faulty braking system caused an unmanned vehicle to roll backwards into a shop window.

A woman suffered minor injuries in the accident on June 17, when the bus reversed out of its bay at the central depot and crashed into Le Chic hair salon on Washington Street .

The Department of Public Transportation (DPT) investigated, with the assistance of the Bermuda Police Service.

Transport Minister Shawn Crockwell told The Royal Gazette: “The majority of the buses have a braking system that, for safety purposes, is integrated with bus door opening and closing control systems, and the findings of this investigation indicate that the bus braking system was manually overridden.

“The DPT recognises the severity of the matter as safety of passengers and road users is always a priority.

“The DPT is taking every precaution to ensure that it does not happen again. Plans are under way to install safety features at the bus depot, including wheel trenches to prevent bus roll back.

“The DPT has been working closely with the Occupational Safety and Health Office and is following standard accident procedure.

“It is significant to note that the integrated safety system on Bermuda public buses has proven to be exceptional considering the amount of passengers that ride the public buses and no recorded injuries.”

The accident happened at about 1.20pm and caused a commotion — a tourist even ran after the vehicle to try to stop it rolling away.

The incident was similar to one in 2012, when an empty, parked bus slipped its brakes and rolled into Audio Visual Electronics on the same road.