Nature of the Incident
The Mayor of London’s Vision Zero strategy sets a target to achieve zero road collision deaths involving buses in London by 2030. To help achieve this, TRL were commissioned by Transport for London (TfL) to research and develop a ‘Bus Safety Standard’ (BSS). This is designed to ensure that the safest buses are driven on London’s roads.
The BSS is focused on a number of measures relating to vehicle design and safety system performance, including driver assistance systems (helping the driver to avoid or mitigate the severity of collisions), partner assistance (helping other road users) as well as occupant protection and partner protection.
In order for a number of the measures within the BSS to be examined fully, data relating to events involving buses needed to be collected. This is where the importance of CCTV comes in. Most London buses are fitted with multi-camera CCTV systems which capture events both inside and outside of the bus. This footage can be used to provide invaluable information relating to the most common scenarios encountered by London buses.
TRL were given access to view London bus operator CCTV footage. This provided crucial footage relating to collision events and near-miss events involving pedestrians and cyclists as well as other vehicles. An expert in CCTV analysis from the Investigations Team at TRL led the analysis of the footage.
During the analysis about 200 events were examined in detail and the information logged in a database. The analysis of the footage provided information such as the pre and post impact movement of the parties involved, the speed of bus, the time available to the driver before the event and the reaction of the driver (if there was sufficient time), the deceleration rate of the bus and much more. Crucially, it provided evidence of how people are injured on board buses, which parts of the body were contacting with which parts of the bus, and in what areas of the bus the injuries occurred most frequently. This data provided essential information for a number of the measures in the BSS such as the newly developed occupant friendly interior assessment scheme.
A number of specific cases were also analysed in relation to pedal confusion events, whereby the driver incorrectly presses the accelerator pedal when they think they are pressing the brake pedal, and bus fires. Again, the analysis of the CCTV footage by our expert provided important information for the BSS.
The data collected by our expert from the analysis of the CCTV footage provided central information for the BSS program, allowing the design and testing of new technologies.