11 March 2008

Really, really bad design.

I often rant about bad web design, or sometimes bad building design, but this tale of bad design made me laugh out loud.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Muni drivers have reported over the last couple of weeks that people have been shutting down the power on their buses by flipping a switch that can be accessed easily through an unlocked panel on the outside of the bus.

When that happens, the drivers can't accelerate, they lose radio contact with dispatchers and the interior lights on the buses go out. The power loss does not affect the brakes.

How stupid is that -- placing the off switch behind an unlocked panel outside the bus? It's just begging to be monkeyed with! Now Muni is on the hook for locking the panels and probably will have to develop a full policy for access to the panels, too. If I were them, I'd be sending a big fat bill to the company that built-in the design flaw.


Star said...

At least it doesn't shut off the brakes. You have to wonder what the thinking behind that whole plan was.

Greg said...

Something slightly worse happened here in Christchurch a year or two ago. One of the trams (on rails) had a switch tripped that disabled the brakes, which then ran into a car. It wasn't intentional, apparently a traffic cone in just the wrong place flipped the switch on that particular tram. I think they fixed that glitch.