Metro News Release

For immediate release: April 29, 2003

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Metro sees benefit from the installation of safety devices called S1 Gards
Metrobuses also to receive safety door devices

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) has seen great benefit from the installation two years ago of safety devices, called S1 gards, on the rear wheels of Metrobuses. These safety devices " semicircular shields located in the front of the right, rear wheel of Metrobuses " move people out of harm’s way if they fall near or in the path of the rear wheel of a bus.

These devices were installed on the entire fleet of 1,464 Metrobuses for a total cost of $1.2 million. During the two years that they have been in use, no one has been harmed by falling near or in the path of the rear wheel of a bus. Ron Keele, Director of Passenger, Vehicle, Fire Life Safety and Emergency Management, contributes this safety record to human factor and safety engineering technology.

" While persons have brushed up against the S1 gards, no one has fallen near the rear wheel of a bus and therefore had to be moved out of harm’s way," Mr. Keele said. " That’s because when people see the device, they stay away from the rear wheel. And, the fact that we have these devices are an aspect of safety technology engineering which has helped us maintain this safety record. Risk statistics indicate that two to three people per year would have been injured or worse by falling beneath the rear wheel of the bus if these devices had not been installed."

That safety record also translates into a monetary saving for Metro as well because the Authority has not been required to cover expenditures resulting from an injury or fatality due to that type of accident.

Any new buses that Metro acquires in the future will also have the S1 gards installed in the front of their rear wheels.

In a related safety matter, Metro has begun retrofitting all of its bus fleet with an interlocking safety device on all front doors which prevents a Metrobus from moving when its doors are open. (These safety devices are already installed on the back doors of the entire Metrobus fleet.) All news buses added to the fleet will automatically have the front-door locking device, and older buses are in the process of receiving the retrofit of the device, which should be completed in approximately one year.

News release issued on April 29, 2003.

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