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Transit company has high record of preventable accidents

Victor Lewin - Friday, June 12, 2015

An analysis of the 712 accidents on record last year for Halifax Transit shows that, of the rate of nearly two accidents a day, nearly half could have been avoided.

CBC News discovered that the city determined 347 of the accidents were preventable, 243 were unavoidable and 122 are still being investigated.

According to city officials, preventable accidents occur when the driver fails to do all that they can to avoid the collision. Some of the preventable accidents included:

-- hitting poles

-- striking parked cars

-- turning too widely

-- backing into buses

The most common site for collisions was along Barrington Street, where 80 documented accidents occurred. Second place went to the 47 accidents on Robie Street, with Gottingen Street coming in third with 39 collisions in 2014.

Statistics obtained via the Freedom of Information Act indicated that buses struck other automobiles 400 times and collided with other buses on 87 occasions. Four pedestrians also were hit by buses, and city authorities concluded that three out of the four pedestrian accidents could have been avoided.

The Halifax Transit spokeswoman claimed that the number of accidents was actually quite small when compared to the million trips per year for the company. She acknowledged that the transit company is attempting to reduce the frequency of avoidable accidents. She also claims that driver training is adjusted and collision trends are tracked.

The man in charge of Local 508 of the Amalgamated Transit Union takes issue with the way the city defines a preventable accident, claiming that a slide into a street-side snowbank should not necessarily be considered preventable. He added that the union had been urging the buses to be fitted with winter tires.

Regardless of the reason behind all of the collisions, if you are the one who suffered serious injuries in a collision with a bus, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the transit company and its insurer.

Source: CBC News, "Halifax Transit could have prevented hundreds of crashes last year," Catharine Tunney, June 05, 2015

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