EDITORIAL:The power to take buses off the road

By: Chris Smith


Eighty articulated Volvo buses have been taken off the Sydney streets because drivers say their brakes lock up by themselves

Eighty articulated Volvo buses have been taken off the Sydney streets because drivers say their brakes lock up by themselves mysteriously.

Ironically, Volvo and the State Transit Authority have begun a trial of new software that make the vehicles behave like older buses in the STA fleet.

Talking about stepping back in time, instead of utilising the latest brake technology they are now going to make the buses feel like older vehicles.

The system currently fitted is used on almost 10,000 buses on an annual basis sold by Volvo in over 150 countries.

With these numbers, surely if there was an issue it would have been picked up before the 80 units formerly operating in Sydney.

One of the buses, which has been monitored by drivers close to two months, has had no reported incidents and yet the whole fleet is being removed from service.

So does it all boil down to re-training drivers to drive modern vehicles because of new technology?

The RTBU won and industrial case to take vehicles off the road, and if the drivers aren’t comfortably trained to drive the new artics, two to three years after they have come into service, then it is fair enough if they feel lives are in danger.

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