Many Muni Crashes Could Have Been Prevented

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A crowded muni car on the K line at Church.

    A surprising number of Muni accidents could have been prevented.

    There were 1,399 accidents in 2010, of which 348 were preventable, according to the San Francisco Examiner. Only seven drivers face potential firing.

    Of course, most Muni trips don't result in any accidents at all. And driving a vehicle in San Francisco's complex traffic is no easy task, especially with reckless motorists mixing with transit traffic.

    But when a bus or train does crash, the repercussions can be severe.

    The problem may be Muni's process for dealing with accidents. Drivers in preventable accidents receive counseling, training, and a written warning, and sometimes a temporary suspension. If they can go for a year without another preventable accident, they'll get a clear record.

    Muni employees are notoriously difficult to discipline, due to their powerful union. But that may change now that voters have passed Proposition G. That measure will give city officials new leverage in negotiation a contract with the drivers' union.