As the largest, most massive, and often the longest vehicles on surface streets, express bus operations pose significant risks to vehicle traffic and pedestrians in the street environment. Collisions between buses and smaller vehicles, as well as pedestrians, pose the greatest and most consistent safety threats in street environments. Buses restrict visibility throughout street settings, posing hazards to other vehicles and pedestrians. The hulking, lurching movement of buses in traffic, and bus drivers’ practices of plowing their way into and out of traffic and through intersections, requires heightened awareness and caution on the part of motorists and pedestrians alike.
Articulated and oversized buses which do not clear intersections impose hazards to pedestrians using crosswalks, as well as, other vehicles attempting to complete left turns or otherwise clear intersections. Inability of oversized buses to safely cross and clear railroad tracks or high speed thoroughfares can prove to be disastrous. While express buses may travel in designated lanes, separate medians or corridors on streets and highways designed to convey automobiles, all crossing or interface with traffic lanes, street parking or traffic signalization presents potential conflict and increased collision danger due to the very different physical and operational characteristics of automobiles and buses.
Turning movements of buses, in traffic, and on streets that have not been adapted or widened to accommodate the size or length of typical bus vehicles, are a consistent source of accidents and injuries involving vehicles and pedestrians. Few streets or highways have been designed to accommodate buses, and virtually none are able to facilitate operation of oversized or articulated buses without significant reduction in traffic safety, not to mention the road hazards created by potholes and pavement broken and collapsed by the massive vehicles. Turning accidents persist, and have multiplied in frequency wherever long body or articulated buses are imposed on existing streets.