In response to the second duck boat-pedestrian collision in Boston this year, Boston Duck Tours will begin following new legislative requirements to prevent further deaths. Earlier this year, 28-year-old Allison Warmuth was killed when she was struck by one of the amphibious vehicles. And just last week, a pedestrian was hit by a duck boat on Newbury street, suffering non-fatal injuries.
Boston Duck Tours has voluntarily agreed to institute new requirements to prevent future accidents. These requirements include adding a second employee on board the tour. In previous years, the driver and tour narrator were one in the same. And this will remain unchanged until new legislation is implemented. With a non-driving narrator on board, the driver will be able to focus on what’s important, the road. In addition, the tour company will also add proximity sensors and cameras to each vehicle. Sensors will indicate when the vehicle is getting too close to another object, including other vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Just last month, state legislators proposed multiple new regulations for duck boats, including those mentioned above. “We are eager to move forward with this new staffing plan,” said Boston Duck Tours CEO Cindy Brown. “There is a lot of work to do. Boston is our home; we recognize what a privilege it is to serve residents and visitors and it has always been our commitment to do so utilizing best-in-class safety practices. This can only complement BDT’s current strong safety practices.”
Recruiting and Training New Employees Takes Time and Work
Although Boston Duck Tours is committed to the new regulations, the company admits that it won’t be easy. In a recent press release, the tour group emphasized the time and effort necessary to adequately train new staff. “This will take place through the remainder of this season, which ends in November, and will continue into the off season. The new employees will be in place at the start of the 2017 season next March,” stated the company in the release. So, while the company intends to make its tours much safer, the added safety measures won’t actually be put into effect until the start of next season.
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