UCSF Shuttle Bus Accident Results in Seat Belts Installed in All Buses

UCSF Shuttle Bus Accident Results in Seat Belts Installed in All BusesThe tragic death of a 52-year-old psychiatrist and professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), has prompted seat belt installation in all UCSF shuttle buses, the San Francisco Examiner reports. In the past nine months, there have been three incidents involving UCSF shuttle buses.

According the news source, on July 14, the UCSF shuttle bus carrying Professor Kevin Mack collided with a big-rig truck. The bus was not fitted with any seat belts at the time of the crash. Professor Mack was ejected from the vehicle.

The Bay Citizen reports that Mack, an associate professor of psychiatry, was an expert on psychotic and bipolar disorders.

The Bay Citizen also reports that all vehicles that carry more than 10 people for nonprofit or profit organizations aren’t required to have seat belts installed. Speaking on the issue, Lorrie Walker, technical advisor to nonprofit SafeKids said, “Buses are so much bigger and have more weight and are less likely to have their passengers sustain serious injuries or damage. But you don’t have that with these little jitneys that are just slightly larger than a car.”

According to the Examiner, University chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellman stated that by the end of August, the whole crew of UCSF shuttle buses should be equipped with seat belts. Shuttle operations at UCSF are also being reviewed in a comprehensive overview and the university is conducting individual support meetings with drivers.

Desmond-Hellman added, “I am committed to ensuring that our community is informed about the many ways we are already working to keep our shuttles safe.”

The event has opened up conversations on the need for improved bus passenger safety. In 2009, 3,076 people were killed in California vehicle crashes, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.