NSW BUS SAFETY WEEK, 2020

By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Busways, Video by: courtesy Busways


OPERATOR Busways is just one of many organisations participating in Bus Safety Week, 2020 - running Monday, 24 February to Sunday, March 1 – reminding all road users to ‘be bus aware’, it states.

NSW BUS SAFETY WEEK, 2020
Bus Safety Week aims to raise awareness for all road users on how to stay safe, says Busways.

Busways is urging everyone to stay safe and be alert on and around buses as Bus Safety Week kicked off for a fifth year on Monday.

With more than 4,000 buses operating in the Sydney metropolitan area and around 3,000 buses on regional and country roads, Bus Safety Week aims to improve the safety of pedestrians, riders, passengers and drivers, helping to reduce injuries and lives lost on NSW roads, the organisation states.

Executive director of the Centre for Road Safety Bernard Carlon says in the five years to June, 2019, 35 people were killed and 394 seriously injured in bus crashes across the State.

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"Of the 35 people killed 14 were pedestrians, our most vulnerable road users. Eleven were drivers, seven were passengers and three were motorcyclists," Carlon said.

Although most fatalities and serious injuries involving bus crashes occurred in metropolitan areas, in regional areas rear-end crashes accounted for more than a quarter of all casualties from bus crashes, statistics reveal.

Bus Safety Week aims to raise awareness for all road users on how to stay safe, it says.

"This week is a reminder for pedestrians to find a safe place to cross the road, avoid walking in front of or behind a bus, obey traffic signals and don’t get distracted by your mobile phone," Carlon said.

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REDUCING INCIDENTS

Busways managing director Byron Rowe says any incident with a pedestrian takes a toll on a bus driver.

"Buses are big, heavy vehicles that can’t stop quickly, so keep a safe distance. Don’t cut in front of a bus and give way to buses merging into traffic," Rowe said.

Rowe adds that the company is committed to ensuring safety around bus services.

"Bus Safety Week serves as a timely reminder for motorists, pedestrians, parents and passengers of the safety measures they need to take when in and around buses," explained Rowe.

"Busways is invested in working with Transport for NSW and other agencies, such as the police, on these safety initiatives to guarantee everyone is well aware of the consequences of inappropriate or unsafe behaviour around buses.

"We all have a role to play in reducing incidents," Rowe added.

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SHARE THE ROAD

Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy of the NSW Traffic & Highway Patrol Command says road users should always consider the need to share the road safely. 

"One thing we all have in common is that we have all caught a bus at some stage in our lives," Corboy said.

"Given the important work that operators and drivers do in getting pedestrians to and from their destinations safely, other road users need to be aware of how they use the roads around buses, always leaving plenty of room, and acknowledge the ‘40km/h flashing lights’ at the rear of buses at school times," he said.

To follow Bus Safety Week visit NSW Road Safety on Facebook www.facebook.com/nswroadsafety or the Be Bus Aware website www.bebusaware.com.au.

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THE STATS

Injuries and incidents – reported 2017-2019, Sydney Metropolitan Bus Service Contract 1 – Western Sydney:

Last year in Western Sydney there were just over 140 preventable injuries to passengers and non-passengers caused by motorists cutting in front of buses; pedestrians not looking or paying attention to their phones; and passengers not holding on.

Injuries and incidents – reported 2017-2019, Outer Sydney Region 6 – Central Coast:

On average in on the Central Coast over each of the past three years there were 42 preventable injuries to passengers and non-passengers for a range of reasons. This includes motorists cutting in front of buses, pedestrians not looking, and passengers not holding on.

Injuries and incidents – reported 2017-2019, Busways North Coast region:

On average between Bulahdelah and Yamba over each of the past three years, there were 31 preventable injuries to bus passengers and non-passengers for a range of reasons. This includes motorists cutting in front of buses, pedestrians not looking, and passengers not holding on.

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ABOUT BUSWAYS

Busways is a family owned and operated company with 77 years’ experience in the transport industry, operating services across NSW including Western Sydney, Central Coast and the Mid-North Coast, it states.

The company began as a single-man operation and has grown into an extraordinary transportation business with more than 1500 staff members and 16 depots, the company confirms.

Busways provides school and route bus services, as well as expertise in transport operations, scheduling, asset management, marketing and communications and customer experience, it adds.

With in excess of 750 buses in the fleet, more than 22 million passengers travel on a Busways journey every year.

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