Boston Duck Tours will add second staff member to vehicles

Students can go on a Boston Duck Tour, regularly $35.99, for $29.99.
–Aram Boghosian / The Boston Globe

Boston Duck Tours will add a second staff member aboard its vehicles following recent crashes that have raised safety concerns about the service.

“We are eager to move forward with this new staffing plan,” Cindy Brown, Boston Duck Tours CEO, said in a statement.  “There is a lot of work to do.”

The announcement comes after the amphibious vehicles were involved in two crashes in the 2016 season — one of which was fatal. The company will implement the change beginning with the 2017 season, according to a release.

In April, 28-year-old Allison Warmuth was struck and killed by one of the boats while driving her scooter. Her family has since pushed for state legislation that would require duck boat drivers to have two staff members of board: one to operate the vehicle, and another to narrate the tour for passengers.

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Just last week, a pedestrian was hit by a duck boat on Newbury Street and sustained minor injuries.

The company said it has voluntarily decided to hire between 40 and 50 new staffers to fill the roles and will begin training them throughout the remainder of the 2016 season. Sensors will also be installed to both the front and back of each vehicle that will alert the driver when a person or object is in close proximity, according to the release.

“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,” Brown said. “This can only complement BDT’s current strong safety practices.”

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