A WMATA driver with S-1 GARD-equipped bus

Washington (D.C.) Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), whose 1,480-bus fleet provides over 400,000 trips daily, first installed the S-1 GARD on its entire fleet in 2000. Prior to the retrofit, WMATA was experiencing an average of two fatalities per year in the Danger Zone, resulting not only in the loss of life, but also an average of USD $550,000 annually in litigation costs, on top of negative publicity. Since then, WMATA has reported no right-rear wheel fatalities.

Ron Keele, Director of Passenger, Vehicle, Fire Life Safety and Emergency Management, contributes this safety record to human factor and safety engineering technology. “When people see the device, they stay away from the rear wheel,” reports Mr. Keele. “Risk statistics indicate that two to three people per year would have been injured or worse by falling beneath the right rear wheel of the bus if these devices had not been installed.”