Black boxes to be installed on Istanbul buses for safety
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJul 23, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jul 23, 2015 12:00 am
Istanbul municipality will install black boxes, very much like flight recorders, in public buses to collect data in case of an accident and take measures to improve the safety of the buses.
The city's Electric, Tramway and Tunnel Establishments (İETT), the main transportation authority that oversees over 3,000 public buses, said in a statement that the black boxes would primarily be used for recording the circumstances surrounding the driver and the vehicle at the time of an accident and would thereby provide insight into further measures for improving buses' safety.
The announcement is part of measures the İETT has taken into consideration after a string of accidents involving public buses, a popular means of transportation, last year. Three accidents last summer saw buses catching fire, crashing due to brake failure and driver error, raising concerns over the safety of the buses. The İETT had launched safe driving courses for bus drivers who were also obliged to undergo mental tests following the accidents.
The installation of black boxes aims to minimize accidents, maintenance costs, boost passengers' comfort and cut fuel costs, according to the statement. Data in over 80 categories, ranging from technical problems to the temperature of air conditioner, the number of times the brakes are applied to the idling times will be collected and accessible to authorities through an online connection. Black boxes will also help with more effective responses to passengers' complaints especially over drivers not turning on the air conditioner and driving too fast or too slowly. Additionally, the number of passengers throughout the day will be analyzed for a better assessment of the introduction of additional buses on any given route.
The İETT is the ultimate authority in public transportation for Istanbul, which both runs municipality buses and issues and revokes permission for private companies operating buses.
Although bus accidents have decreased relatively this year in the city, traffic accidents are a major concern for Turkey as they kill over 3,500 people every year in accidents mainly blamed on unsafe driving.