I-Team: Protecting Bus Stops Poses Challenge - 8 News NOW

I-Team: Protecting Bus Stops Poses Challenge

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LAS VEGAS -- The I-Team's special series of reports, Road Map to Safety, brought changes to traffic court and revealed exactly how dangerous our roads have become.

After a car crashed into a bus stop early Thursday morning and killed four people, the I-Team investigates whether a safer bus stop design could save lives.

Although the I-Team was instrumental in repairing the traffic court loophole that allowed repeat offenders to slip past judges unpunished, a computer upgrade and new procedures won't be enough to keep people waiting at bus stops safe.

Improving bus stop safety could involve a major engineering challenge and it's also a fix that could be made irrelevant by the actions of reckless drivers.

Nobody -- not the engineers, the planners or the politicians -- can seem to find a way to prevent tragedies like the one on Spring Mountain Road and Decatur Boulevard the killed four and injured eight.

"There's no engineering for stupidity," said Erin Breen, who chairs the Regional Transportation Commission's bus shelter advisory committee.

She's been watching the death toll on Las Vegas valley roads rise to near record levels.

Last year at this time, 82 people had died in traffic-related incidents. This year, the number of dead is already at 133.

"The RTC has been negotiating with property owners at other parcels to try to move their bus shelters back," Breen said.

At a similar bus stop on Spring Mountain, just down the street from where the crash happened, the bus stop bench is 3.5 feet from the curb.

A view from Chopper 8 shows Thursday's car crash began several dozen feet down the road and it is unknown whether an inset bus stop or other measures could have prevented deaths.

The I-Team has learned there were no scheduled plans to bring that specific bus stop back from the road.

The other option is to fortify the bus stops with cement pillars called bollards.

"Why aren't we putting those great big cement bollards in front of them?" Breen said. "Well, you know, when you look at a video of what happens when a vehicle hits on of those cement bollards, you understand right away why they don't do that."

Concrete barriers can rip a vehicle apart into shrapnel, tearing through anybody in front of it.

"It's like a gunshot," Breen said.

Thursday's crash is expected to be studied and torn down to raw numbers and figure out if anything can be designed to deflect a reckless driver from bus stops.

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