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'MAKING BUS TRAVEL SAFER'

 
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:24 pm    Post subject: 'MAKING BUS TRAVEL SAFER' Reply with quote

'Sensible Rules to Make Bus Travel Safer'


Editorial Published April 10, 2011 The New York Times


Three major bus accidents in the Northeast, including the horrific crash on Interstate 95 in the Bronx that killed 15 passengers and critically injured several others, may finally spur Congress to mandate bus safety improvements.

A bipartisan measure to require seat belts, roofs that can withstand a rollover, better windows to prevent passenger ejection in crashes, and other vital safety steps was introduced in the Senate by Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, and Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas.

The bill, which covers interstate motor coaches, also has new and more stringent requirements for driver fitness and bus company oversight to root out irresponsible operators. A companion bill is pending in the House.

A nearly identical bill died at the close of last year when Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, imposed a hold on the legislation. Early Senate approval, with strong bipartisan support, may even embarrass the regulation-hostile House into acting.

The Department of Transportation is already preparing rules that will require buses to have seat belts and electronic recorders to replace easily falsified paper records of driver hours. Some companies have begun voluntarily adopting safety enhancements. Yet, having Congress require a reasonable set of changes, with a clear timetable, is the best way to ensure the reforms.

Buses carry roughly 750 million passengers a year and no legislation can prevent all accidents. What Congress can and should do is establish common-sense safety standards designed to make crashes less likely, and decrease the death and injury toll when they occur.

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York


POSTER'S COMMENT

I'm still looking for School Bus Seat Belts!
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Jimbo



Age: 67
Joined: 13 Apr 2010
Posts: 185
Location: Greenport, NY

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With hundreds of older but still serviceable motor coaches on the road no one has properly addressed the problem of retrofitting these motor coaches with seat belts. Are lap belts only OK ? Does the entire seat have to be replaced to accommodate shoulder belts ? And if you are looking for seat belts in school buses, look no further than your former home state of New York. Lap belts have been required for years in all school buses but their use is optional, left to the discretion of local school boards (most of which will not accept the liability and therefore do not mandate their use).
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr 'L' - Jimbo -

Once again, legislation drafted by the "best and brightest" around, with near complete ignorance of anything
which may have been done before. (Yes, they are dumber than they look!)

Whatever became of recording Tachographs? Long time fixture on much (likely near all) of the GREYHOUND fleet.
Many other firms also used the devices. The drivers usually took them seriously. Now, remote "wireless logging"
in place on many large fleets. No paper logs to file! No driver entries and editing.

Coach body integrity? It is difficult to even imagine how much solid research and other work in on these issues
for years. SIGH! But, if one doesn't start with "clean sheets of paper" approaches, then there is much less work
to outsource to various consulting firms!

.......................Vern......................
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timecruncher



Age: 67
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 456
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Truth is, there is little or no actual enforcement of the current highway motor carrier laws. Back when I worked for a charter outfit, we were regularly required to run illegal. "Death marches" from mid-Ohio to Washington, DC were commonplace. I put in a lot of 18-hour days and 600+ mile days. Either you worked it or you didn't get work the next time out.

Aside from that, unfortunately, there are many two-bus bus lines out there and some larger ones that have few drivers who even speak English. How do these people get a CDL?

We don't really need more laws and regulations -- we need enforcement of the ones already on the books.

timecruncher
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RailBus63
Moderator



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 1063

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Completely agree. It's unfortunate that it took a serious loss of life to finally wake up our public safety officials and get them to start checking out some of these drivers and vehicles. More consistent enforcement needs to occur - this cannot be a one-time reaction that will fade as time goes on.
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

timecruncher -

Yep! One of the dirty little secrets of all of it! A lot of big talk and hyperbole. Very little done in the way of enforcement.
I suppose, with our time into it, we may (or may not) have heard and seen many of the tricks...

Related, and this goes back three decades, a bewilderingly large number of Commercial Truck drivers, straight over from
Eastern Europe, and didn't speak a word of English. In addition, a lot of the equipment condition was sketchy, at best.
NJ Area Police were aware of it, and found it overwhelming...

.........................Vern........................
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timecruncher



Age: 67
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 456
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lets not even begin on vehicle maintenance. DC police back in the late 1990s used to do "quick and dirty" DOT checks on buses at the popular parking sites in Washington. Many times I had an MC8 or MC9 with faulty equipment -- and the brakes...

I took an MC9 one morning that our dispatcher had brought me (they forgot to assign a driver to the charter) at the boarding location. I loaded the bus and had no reason to use the brakes much until the first rest stop in Crawfordsville, IN. When I applied to brakes to slow for the 25-mph ramp, I discovered that the bus had very long brakes! Scared the **** out of me, and I made some frantic calls while the passengers went to McDonald's for refreshments.

Result? Took 'em to Peoria, then took bus to Peoria Charter Coach, where their lead mechanic offered to come in and do a quick brake inspection and adjustment. His assessment was that I had one good brake (on the right tag axle), and most of the others were 90% gone or the drums were so far gone that even an adjustment would be iffy.

He tightened up the slack on all of them, and it was adequate for the rest of the weekend. I blasted the dispacher when I saw him next time and of course, he played dumb with me.

I don't miss that place at all!

timecruncher
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TheDriver




Joined: 18 Dec 2015
Posts: 198
Location: America

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds much like the same dilemma that truckers face
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