We have all seen those giant mirrors on the side of every SEPTA bus, but what has been installed to provide more safety, in fact, is a design flaw that could be to blame for many serious SEPTA bus accidents. An investigation into these mirrors, after a deadly SEPTA bus accident that took the life of Sheena White in September 2014 (see: mother killed son injured after getting hit by septa bus), has uncovered that internal SEPTA documents examining the mirror have deemed it an “acceptable risk”.
SEPTA’s position has been that these SEPTA bus accidents are not due to a design flaw, but the fault of its own drivers. SEPTA has thrown its own drivers, who are provided with training and vehicles by SEPTA, under the “bus” (pun intended). SEPTA bus drivers, and their union, have gone to SEPTA in an effort to have them rectify this issue, but to no avail. Again internal documents show that SEPTA had notice that these large mirrors were a safety issue, studies showing that an “Operator can lose sight of a pedestrian for approximately 2 seconds (when making a turn)”, but again SEPTA felt this was an a risk it was willing to accept.
Without admitting that the large mirror is a design flaw, to blame for many SEPTA bus accidents, in January 2015 SEPTA will be replacing the large mirror 15″ x 8″ with a 12″ x 8″ smaller mirror. The move to change the design on the SEPTA buses is certainly a step in the right direction, but one has to wonder what took so long? If SEPTA took this step sooner could it have stopped countless SEPTA bus accidents and would Ms. White be with us today.
Looking at what has been reported regarding Ms. White’s SEPTA bus accident and SEPTA’s internal documents, it seems to me that SEPTA certainly had notice of the defect and failed to act – making them at fault for injuries caused by the defect. If you are involved in a SEPTA bus accident, whether due to this design flaw, or otherwise – one of the most important things you can do to protect your rights is to Contact a SEPTA Bus Accident Lawyer at KaplunMarx before signing any paperwork or speaking with any insurance company.