A detector developed by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ Institute of Transportation could help bus drivers improve their behavior behind the wheel, an official said yesterday.
Chang Kai-kuo (張開國), chief of the institute’s transportation safety division, said the institute started using the detector last year to record the behavior of bus drivers from Metropolitan Transport Corp and Taoyuan Bus Co, which mainly operate routes within Taipei and Taoyuan cities respectively.
This year, Chang said the institute worked with Kuokuang Motor Transportation Co, a freeway bus operator, to record drivers’ behavior on the freeways.
So far, the institute has gathered 200 units of data, he said.
“We hope our analyses can identify safe driving behavior, which could then be incorporated into re-education sessions for bus drivers,” he said.
Since last year, the ministry has required that bus drivers attend re-education courses at motor vehicle offices nationwide every three years.
At the presentation yesterday, Chang showed that the detector was equipped with cameras that can record situations from the perspective of the driver’s seat, the front of the bus, as well as both sides of the bus.
The system can record changes in speed when the bus turns right or left, he said.
Based on analyses conducted so far, the institute determined that bus drivers in the urban areas had a tendency to signal right before switching lanes, without giving adequate warning to vehicles behind them.
It also found that city bus drivers were more likely to not keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them.
A recent survey by the Taipei City Government showed that the number of traffic accidents caused by buses rose from 1,189 in 2009 to 1,342 last year.
The accidents last year led to 10 deaths and 567 injuries.