Report on road accident in Drammen, 8 September 2005

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On the morning of Thursday 8 September 2005 a 36-year-old service employee was working at the service hall of the bus company Nettbuss in the city of Drammen. While driving a bus out of the service hall he noticed a man on the company area, whom he perceived to be walking towards the main building. The bus driver parked the bus and went over to the bus beside to drive it into the service hall for washing. He checked in the side-view mirrors before reversing the bus. At the same time the man whom he had observed earlier, was standing behind the bus. A colleague witnessed the dangerous situation and tried to warn the bus driver. When the driver stopped the bus, the man had already received fatal injuries from being driven over by the right back wheel of the bus.

The 66-year-old man was not a Nettbuss employee. The investigation revealed that the man often frequented the area around the buses and that this presence was accepted by the company. The bus driver reversed the bus without being certain that the area directly behind the bus was clear. Because of the bus design, the driver’s position offers no sight to this area. The man was slightly mentally retarded and had reduced hearing. The AIBN considers that the man’s handicap might have contributed to the man’s lack of awareness to the reversing bus.

From 1997 modifications to nearby roads led to unstructured driving patterns including more reversing of buses on the company area. It is the opinion of the AIBN that the bus company did not organise the bus movements in a sufficiently safe way. The company practiced its own traffic rules which included the duty to give way for reversing buses. There were no routines or technical devices in place to assist the bus drivers in their reversing operations.

The property is accessible to the public as it is not confined in any way. The AIBN considers the openness of the property as a risk factor which may lead to new accidents. Neither the municipality of Drammen nor the Norwegian Public Roads Administration had requested that the property be protected to avoid trespassing.

The AIBN points to the lack of requirements concerning the protection of third person in a working area. In addition, it is the opinion of the AIBN that there are weaknesses in existing requirements concerning sight/observation behind buses. Also, the traffic rules concerning the use of backing assistance are considered to be diffuse.

The AIBN presented three immediate safety recommendations to Nettbuss in December 2005. During 2006 the company has carried out several actions to remedy the traffic situation on the property.

As a result of this investigation, the AIBN suggests six additional safety recommendations.

Occurrence date
Accident type
Other accident
Road class
Private road or area
Police Disctrict
Søndre Buskerud
Vehicle type
Bus or coach, Pedestrian
Type of Transportation
Transfer work/assignment
Accident category
Annen ulykke
Report on road accident in Drammen, 8 September 2005 Download report
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