Bookmobiles Lack Anti-Crushing Device

Categories: Transportation
Joe Eskenazi
The status quo
A memorial was held last night for Chang Jin Lai, the 78-year-old cyclist crushed to death by a Muni bus last month.

SF Weekly reporting revealed that the 27-Bryant that struck and rolled over Lai was missing an "S-1 Gard" -- a bumper-shaped hunk of polyurethane specifically designed to keep a bus' right-rear tires from crushing people. This spurred a Muni fleetwide inspection; of the agency's 801 buses, 14 were missing S-1 Gards -- a low percentage, but little solace for Lai, his wife, and seven children.

Muni also, belatedly, created written policy forbidding a bus without an S-1 Gard from being put into service.

Other city-owned buses, however, are still rolling through town sans S-1 Gards or similar anti-crushing devices: Library bookmobiles.

See Also: Muni's Reaction to a Preventable Death Reveals Its True Self

An S-1 Gard
Krista Berry, the operations manager for Public Transportation Safety International told us "The S-1 Gard can be manufactured to fit any bus in the world if that particular fleet felt the need for it. It's not mandated. It's fleet-dependent."

If San Francisco did opt to outfit its bookmobiles with S-1 Gards, it'd be the first place to do so, according to Berry.

Calls to the library have not yet been returned.

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