The National Highway Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) has completed its investigation of the March 2, 2007 bus accident on I-95 in Atlanta, GA that killed 7 people, including the bus driver, and seriously injured seven of the passengers. The bus was carrying the Bluffton University, Ohion, baseball team when it drove through an intersection on the ramp to an overpass, crashed through a barrier and landed on I-95 19 feet below.
The NTSB has determined that “the probable cause” of the accident was that the bus driver confused the high occupany (HOV) exit only ramp for an HOV through lane. However, the Board said that the Georgia Department of transportation also contributed to the accident due to the inadequate signage differentiating the two types of HOV lanes.
“This accident demonstrates the need for clear and
consistent highway signage and traffic devices across the
U.S. interstate system, in order to provide reliable
guidance to all motorists on our nation’s highways,” said
Mark V. Rosenker, NTSB chairman.
The NTSB also restated recommendations it has made regarding changes in the bus passenger safety and recording devices such as the “black box” on commercial airliners. The Board believes many lives could be saved with bus safety devices and training could be improved with the recording devices.