Adopted: October 27, 1987
MULTIPLE COLLISION WITH AN
INTERCITY CHARTER BUS,
PASSENGER CAR, AND TRANSIT BUS
STATE ROUTE 496
NORTH BERGEN, NEW JERSEY
OCTOBER 9, 1986
NTSB Number: HAR-87/06
NTIS Number: PB87-916209
About 7:34 a m. on October 9, 1986, two charter intercity tour buses loaded with European tourists were traveling westbound in the right lane on State Route (SR) 495 in North Bergen, New Jersey, en route to Washington,, D.C. As the westbound buses approached the Kennedy Boulevard exit on SR-495, the se6ond bus suddenly veered leftward into the adjacent lane, struck the left rear of a passenger car traveling in that lane, then crossed into the eastbound contraflow lane, and struck a transit bus loaded with commuter passengers en route to New York City. One bus passenger aboard the transit bus was fatally injured and 26 other occupants aboard both buses sustained serious to minor injuries.
The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of this accident was the distraction of the charter busdriver from his driving duties while assisting a bus passenger with a CB radio which resulted the failure to remain within the proper traffic lane while traveling in a construction zone.
This report discusses safety issues surrounding the inadequacies of traffic control devices in construction work zones, driver inattention and distraction concerning the use of citizens band radios on commercial vehicles, and motor carrier policies concerning driver operation.
The report concludes that State officials should monitor more closely the traffic control plans for interstate and primary routes to verify that traffic safety is not Jeopardized during the construction of roadway improvements. The report also concludes that the motor carriers should install and require its drivers to use seatbelts while the vehicles are in motion. The report contains safety improvement recommendations that address these issues.
As a result -of its investigation of this accident, the National Transportation Safety Board made the following recommendations:
--to the E. Vanderhoof and Sons Bus Company:
Install seatbelts at the driver's station in all company buses engaged in interstate commerce and require all drivers to wear them while operating company buses. (Class II, Priority Action) (H-87-55)
--to the DeCamp Bus Lines:
Periodically monitor your drivers to verify that they wear seatbelts when operating company buses. (Class II, Priority Action) (H-87-56)
--to the New Jersey Department of, Transportation:
Implement necessary procedures to verify that I cal aid inspectors and other related personnel effectively review and inspect traffic control plans at construction zones. (Class II, Priority Action) (H-87-57)