2015 TSB Recommendations & TC Responses

R13T0192 – CROSSING COLLISION BETWEEN VIA RAIL CANADA INC. PASSENGER TRAIN NO. 51 AND OC TRANSPO DOUBLE-DECKER BUS NO. 8017, MILE 3.30, SMITHS FALLS SUBDIVISION, OTTAWA, ONTARIO – 18 SEPTEMBER 2013.

TSB Full-Text Report (R13T0192):
http://www.tsb.gc.ca/eng/rapports-reports/rail/2013/r13t0192/r13t0192.asp

TSB Recommendation R15-01

From the TSB Final Report

The Board recommends that:

"The Department of Transport in consultation with the provinces, to develop comprehensive guidelines for the installation and use of in-vehicle video monitor displays to reduce the risk of driver distraction." (R15-01)

Transport Canada's Response R15-01

(signed by the Minister on February 24, 2016)

Transport Canada accepts this recommendation. The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) has a Distracted Driving Working Group developing strategies to support jurisdictional efforts to reduce fatalities and serious injuries due to driver distraction. This group has representatives from the provinces and territories and is co-chaired by Transport Canada. 

Transport Canada will request CCMTA Distracted Driving Working Group to consider developing guidelines for the installation and use of in-vehicle video monitor displays to reduce the risk of driver distraction. Transport Canada will suggest to CCMTA Distracted Driving Working Group to review international research to determine the best-available human factors information on driver distraction in both passenger and commercial vehicles.

Transport Canada will also suggest that the working group consult with experts and industry stakeholders to identify challenges and effective strategies for limiting distracted driving from video displays. Based on the results of this work, the group could draft guidelines for the design, installation and use of in vehicle video monitor displays to reduce the risk of driver distraction. 

Transport Canada does not have direct control over the CCMTA or whether provinces and territories choose to address this issue or follow guidelines once developed, however guidelines can make a significant safety contribution.

TSB Recommendation R15-02

From the TSB Final Report

The Board recommends that:

"The Department of Transport develop and implement crashworthiness standards for commercial passenger buses to reduce the risk of injury." (R15-02)

Transport Canada's Response R15-02

(signed by the Minister on February 24, 2016)

Transport Canada acknowledges the recommendation. We also recognize that extremely high forces were involved in the collisions that are beyond reasonable expectations of structural integrity for any road vehicle. 

Transport Canada will evaluate the existing crashworthiness of commercial passenger buses by undertaking a review of accident data from urban centers around the world, including this case, to identify leading risks. Should this analysis identify suitable opportunities for possible standards to improve crash safety on buses, it could then be used to guide the implementation of a crashworthiness test program at the Motor Vehicle Test Center. If appropriate, guidelines for possible future standards could be prepared in consultation with stakeholders and published. If suitable opportunities for new standards are not identified during the process, a report on the analysis will be provided. 

It is important to note that the United States does not currently have any structural crashworthiness standards in place for large commercial passenger buses. The United Nations vehicle safety regulations deal only with structural crashworthiness requirements during a bus roll over-type collision. Similar to the existing United Sates regulation, Canada expects to propose regulatory requirements for the installation of seat belts on many types of commercial buses.

Any potential standard would only apply to new vehicles and as such would need to have a positive cost benefit analysis to be considered for a mandatory requirement.

TSB Recommendation R15-03

From the TSB Final Report

The Board recommends that:

"The Department of Transport Canada require commercial passenger buses to be equipped with dedicated, crashworthy, event data recorders." (R15-03)

Transport Canada's Response R15-03

(signed by the Minister on February 24, 2016)

Transport Canada acknowledges the recommendation. There are no United States or United Nations safety regulations requiring event data recorders (EDR) on large commercial vehicles of any type. At the same time, Transport Canada will commit to scan current EDR technologies available for commercial passenger buses. This research will look at vehicle-based systems, engine-based systems as well as global positioning systems developed both by original equipment manufacturers and after-market suppliers. TC will review available international commercial vehicle EDR standards and recommended practices. Transport Canada will also evaluate the feasibility of developing a commercial passenger bus EDR standard by undertaking a review of technical and scientific reports/papers and validation studies on the accuracy, reliability and limitations of commercial vehicle EDRs. The results of this work would help to determine the need for standards and guide TC on how to proceed. Such work could produce useful guidelines for the installation of such equipment.

TSB Recommendation R15-04

From the TSB Final Report

The Board recommends that:

"The Department of Transport Canada provide specific guidance as to when grade separation should be considered." (R15-04)

Transport Canada's Response R15-04

(signed by the Minister on February 24, 2016)

Transport Canada accepts this recommendation. Grade crossing safety is a shared responsibility between railway companies, road authorities, and private authorities. In 2014, Transport Canada published new Grade Crossings Regulations (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2014-275/) which clearly define the roles and responsibilities at grade crossings for the design, construction, maintenance and inspection of the crossing surface, signage, and warning systems. Although the regulations specify when new at grade crossings are prohibited, they do not regulate when grade separation should be implemented at existing grade crossings.

Transport Canada will work with provinces, and railways to develop guidelines which would assist road authorities and railways to determine when grade separation should be considered. The decision to construct a grade separation will continue to be the responsibility of the road authority and the railway.

Date modified: