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Did the bus driver do good?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by waedwe, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. Tragic accident this morning, where a school bus collided with a car killing 2 people, see article below.
    I know they have split seconds to make a decision and the driver is being praised as a hero, But, my question is, she deliberately hit the sandstone wall to try and avoid the car, would she have been better off and caused less injuries, (11 children injured ) by just going straight and not into a giant bloody wall?, surely the car would still have been obliterated but the bus not really damaged? not criticising her just interested in what others would see as the appropriate action in a terrible situation.


  2. I'd like to see you confronted with the same split-second decision, no offence meant. I reckon instinct would dictate that you'd swerve left rather than hit an on-coming car.

    I don't know about you but I know that road very well, having lived a few kays away from the spot for ten years and having travelled it many times since. Just in the last 5 years I have seen three cars rolled and serious damage and injury at the intersection of those two roads.

    The problem is that heading East there's a 100kph speed limit till just before the New Illawarra Road intersection, and it then drops to 70 kph all the way to Heathcote. No-one slows down to 70, and as for the car overtaking, well simply, it should not have been in a 70 kph zone.

    I might add that the co-Principal of the school is an old friend of many year's standing, and he appears to have behaved admirably and very appropriately in the situation. As I would have expected.

    And nice to see good press and publicity regarding a Christian school instead of bullying and playground muggings in other places.....
  3. Yep i wouldn't know what i'd do in the split second decision, and think it is human nature to swerve away from the oncoming vehicle, just wondering if the drivers were trained to stand there ground so to speak, would the bus injuries have been lessened?
  4. I don't know, because I wasn't there. Beyond the facts as reported, as at late this afternoon, she herself suffered leg and head injuries, and all but two of the students are home with their parents, the others are (were) awaiting results of scans and they were expected to be returned home tonight s well.

    Let's not forget, that for whatever reason, the two people in the car died, and their families will be grieving their loss tonight, as the parents of the children thank God for their almost-miraculous deliverance.
  5. Definitely a tragic accident, and also i have poorly worded my post, i am not intending to apportion blame or hang aspersions on this driver, I am more interested as we have truck drivers etc on here, on what if anything they are told or taught of these situations in there training, We on motorbikes are obviously encouraged to learn emergency stops and swerves as our way of saving ourself. whereas a large vehicle in a split second decision can if swerving hit other non involved vehicles or with buses lessen or increase injuries on board, just interested in what they are taught or not.
  6. I know you well enough to know you weren't slinging off at the driver, mate :).

    They just showed a couple of bits of film from other bus accidents, and it's indeed a miracle no-one in the bus was killed, given that they weren't belted in.

    Calls for seat belts in all school buses are hard to meet, though, as in this case where the bus is used fro normal duties outside of school hours....

    As for the training of the drivers of this company, only they could be able to answer that.
  7. Actually it's very easy to have seat belts in all school buses as long as the government comes up with the extra $ to supply several thousand new buses.

    Anything built prior to 1992 isn't rollover compliant so that'd have be straight off the road, cost is roughtly $350000 per replacement bus.

    Most buses built post 1992 but prior to 2000 can be fitted with lap sash belts as long as the number of seats in the bus is cut down to 51 for a 12 metre vehicle (currently 57 in Victoria and 61 in NSW for that length), this is required due to the extra seat spacing needed for seat belts. Fitting seat belted seats to these buses requires removal and strengthening of the floor at a cost of $60000 to $80000 per bus.

    Most buses (but not all) built post 2000 can be fitted with seat belted seats (with a capacity reduction as above) and don't require removal or stengthening of the floor. Cost is $20000 to $30000 per retro fitted bus.

    In addition approximately 15% extra buses, drivers and services would be needed to cover reduced capacity due to the above.

    In victoria it was estimated that a staged introduction over 10 years which would involve a combination of the above methods would cost $250000000 plus an ongoing extra expense of $20000000 per year.

    This is only for the rural bus system (outside of cities and major towns), the city system would be many times this.

    As you can see the main issues IS the cost to the gumbiment.
  8. By swerving and sideswiping the wall, perhaps she actually did minimise the situation. I know it was a head on but did the car sort of hit them off to the side and spun off therefore avoiding a full frontal impact? Would a full frontal impact have caused more serious injuries in the kids?

    Twice I have been in that split second decision situations (both times in the same car) and I thank my lucky stars and pray to my god to watch over me and not have a third one.
  9. Nothing. There's nothing you can be taught. She tried her best to avoid the situation by redirecting the mass of the bus, but physics doesn't care for human intervention too much. Assuming the bus had air-brakes, that's at least 1-2 seconds lost while the system pressurises, so trying to swerve is your only option.

    I'm sad for the people in the car but unfortunately the car drivers poor judgement forced the bus driver into an unavoidable collision.
  10. ZRX, you are so right; late this afternoon a representative of the NSW so-called Government said on TV that they would be looking into any and all means of making bus transportation safer. Reading between the lines, he said "We know what needs to be done, but we chose to build a billion-dollar desalination plant that was not needed, and no-one wanted, instead."

  11. I reckon this thread would have been reversed if her decision had been reversed. I personally would have hit the wall.
  12. Its easy to get seatbelts into the buses, but kids wont put them on, and many of them will be deliberately uncooperative.

    Old style bus seats, ie a simple L shaped bench style seats need to be phased out, and replaced with more crash-friendly coach style seats.

    Its about the closest thing youll get to seatbelts
  13. Think of it like this - seatbelts on buses give the people who care about their own safety a greater chance of surviving an accident. So why not have them? If a person chooses not to use it, they get what they deserve.

    My view on the crash? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_Awards
  14. Its easy to get seatbelts into the buses, but kids wont put them on, and many of them will be deliberately uncooperative.

    That was not my experience in many, many years of involvement with Christian schools, and I'm sure would not be the case with the school in question.
  15. Good kids then, its just in my experience with schools, nothing short of tear gas and tasers will keep them in their seats with a belt on :LOL:
  16. I think seat belts in buses are inevitable, and you can only hope that the realisation of their value will encourage their use, as it did with cars 30 years ago.
  17. Either way, it is clear that speed was a factor.
  18. late reports are the the driver of the car MAY have suffered a heart attack......
  19. I would too if I realised I was about to be hit by a bus.

    Sorry. That was a sick joke.

    Many years ago on my way home I witnessed the aftermath of an accident. A man was killed after he crashed his car into the creek near where I lived. Initial reports were he was being stupid (as per usual) but it turned out he had suffered a heart attack and as a result he accelerated across the wrong side of Main Rd, over a bicycle path and through a reserve finally ending up in the creek.

    I was a young teenager when I witnessed this and it's still burned into my memory today.

    My thoughts go out to the kiddies on that bus also.

  20. We have a few of the newer school buses that were delivered from the manufacturer optioned with seat belts (at the companies expense), all of the long distance coaches are fitted with seat belts and most of the mini buses.

    It hasn't been our experience that kids are generally resistant to wearing seat belts, in fact if anything the kids are more likely to be asking for them.

    It's adults that tend to not wear them in my experience.