Annual Safety Awards Day Recognized by Gold Coast Transit District
On October 5, 2016 Gold Coast Transit District celebrated its Annual Safety Awards Day. Each year, GCTD recognizes those drivers who have achieved a track record of safe driving as well as members of the “Million Mile Club” who have driven over one million miles without involvement in a preventable accident.
Driving one million miles is the equivalent of driving from Los Angeles to New York City 360 times or 28,500 hours of driving. Gold Coast Transit District recognized thirteen active bus operators in the Million Mile Club and one active bus operator who achieved the prestigious status of being in the Two Million Mile Club. GCTD’s 2016 Safety Awards also honored 108 members of its operations and maintenance team for outstanding records of achievement.
“Safety Awards Day gives us a chance to recognize Bus Operators and Mechanics for their accomplishments in maintaining safety year-round,” said Andrew Mikkelson, GCTD’s Director of Operations.
Even with the focus on safety, some accidents do still occur. Last week, one of Gold Coast Transit District’s buses was involved in a fatal accident involving a pedestrian. While the cause of that accident is still under investigation, Gold Coast Transit District recognizes the importance of staying vigilant when it comes to employee safety training and working to ensure the safety of our community.
Over the past ten years, Gold Coast Transit District has reduced preventable accidents through expanded training and focus on safety. As a result, preventable accidents per mile driven are at the lowest rate in GCTD’s 40-year history. Gold Coast Transit District attributes the reduction in preventable accidents to the development of a more structured training program implemented several years ago, as well as quarterly driving evaluations for every Operator.
“Bus safety is critical for our community, and our comprehensive training programs have helped us reduce accident rates over the years.” stated GCTD General Manager, Steve Brown.
Initial training for all new Bus Operators includes an intensive six week course that includes a combination of classroom training, bus skills training, route familiarization, and in service training with an experienced Certified Training Instructor. Once a Bus Operator is fully trained, all Operators participate in monthly safety trainings and behind-the-wheel evaluation trainings four times each year. Additionally, any Operators involved in preventable accidents receive refresher training specific to the type of accident that occurred and how the Operator can avoid that in the future.