Emergency Exits Focus of CVSA Passenger Carrier Committee

UMA Staff

Rapid City, SD – The CVSA Passenger Carrier Committee continued their recent work here today regarding the inspection criteria for emergency exits. Much of the focus of the Committee’s work has centered on minibus conversions although any changes will likely apply to all buses.

Many minibuses in limousine or party bus service have the forward seating removed and replaced with perimeter seating. The backs of the seating typically rise above the emergency exit handles and markings, clearly an untenable hazard.

Emergency exit markings remain an area of concern. Emergency exits must be clearly marked and legible from the adjacent seats and aisle. Shades and curtains cannot cover the markings and levers.

Of course, the exits must always function properly. Regulations are found under §393.62.

In summary:

Ensure each emergency exit is properly marked.
•   Marking meets the visibility requirement.
•   Marking conveys the proper message.

Add emergency exits to pre-trip inspection.
•    Ensure that drivers know how to operate each emergency exit type (ESPECIALLY ROOF HATCHES!)
•    Train drivers how to inspect exit condition (open and close) and markings.
•    Require a walk-through inspection of exits by the driver after dropping off groups. Repairs or corrections should be made before vehicle leaves for next trip.
•    Ensure each coach has a supply of appropriate markings onboard to replace any missing or damaged markings that may occur during trips.