2021 NSW BUS SAFETY WEEK: BUSWAYS RELEASES TIMELY FOOTAGE

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


FASCINATINGLY thought-provoking and disturbing bus incident video issued during NSW Bus Safety Week is a timely reminder of what drivers encounter all too often out on our roads.

2021 NSW BUS SAFETY WEEK: BUSWAYS RELEASES TIMELY FOOTAGE
“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 and don’t get distracted by your mobile phone,” Minister Constance said.

The CCTV footage of waywardly brash and foolhardy people navigating their way around buses – with vision taken from Port Macquarie and Blacktown areas – is a poignant and striking reminder for all of the need to be ‘safety aware’ at all times in and around public transport vehicles.

Although a year-'round issue, Busways is urging everyone to stay safe and be alert on and around buses in general, as NSW Bus Safety Week kicked off for a sixth year on Monday, 22 February.

With Busways operating almost 330 buses in Western Sydney and almost 280 buses on the NSW mid-North Coast, it’s ardently behind Bus Safety Week, which aims to improve the safety of pedestrians, riders, passengers, and drivers, helping to reduce injuries and lives lost on NSW roads, it states.

Bus Safety Week Minister for Transport Andrew Constance says the statistics show when it comes to crashes involving a bus, most fatalities and serious injuries occur in metropolitan areas.

"We see some really dangerous behaviour around buses and it’s quite shocking to think people would put themselves and others at risk like that," Minister Constance said.

"Fortunately, bus crashes did drop during 2020, but we also had fewer people out and about. As everyone starts returning to work and coming back into our busier areas, we really need everyone to pay attention, be aware and stay alert."

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REVEALING STATS

During the five-year period up to June, 2020, a total of 34 people were killed in crashes involving buses in NSW, Busways states. Of the 34 fatalities, 15 were pedestrians. During the same five-year period, 362 people were seriously injured in bus crashes including, 69 pedestrians and 18 bicycle riders, it explains.

"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 and don’t get distracted by your mobile phone," Minister Constance said.

"And if you’re on a bicycle or motorcycle you need to be aware of a bus’s blind spots because if you can’t see their mirrors, the bus driver can’t see you."

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SPEED AND SPACE

Bus Safety Week is also a time to remind drivers to keep safe distances from school buses and to slow to 40km/h when they see the flashing lights, as it means children are getting on or off the bus and could move out onto the road from a buses’ blind spots.

Busways Western Sydney Service Delivery manager Steven Hawkins says the public needs to remember that buses are big, heavy vehicles that can’t stop quickly.

"It’s important for motorists not to cut in front of a bus and ensure you give way to them if they’re merging into traffic," Hawkins said.

"It’s also vital that pedestrians … be alert and watch out for buses - and passengers travelling on the bus hold on while the bus is moving."

"Unfortunately, in the last 12 months there were over 170 avoidable safety incidents around buses in Western Sydney*," he said.

"Penrith has 24 per cent of these incidents with the highest causes being passengers not holding on while travelling, heavy braking on the bus due to a car cutting in front of the bus, and passengers tripping while getting on or off the bus."

"We all have a part to play in bus safety, and Busways encourages all road users to Be Bus Aware and act safely so everyone can get home to their loved ones," he said.

Busways Regional Operations support manager Mark Lawrence says the public need to remember that buses are big, heavy vehicles that can’t stop quickly.

"It’s important to not cut in front of a bus and ensure you give way to them if they’re merging into traffic," he said.

"Particularly regionally, we see a lot of people not paying attention to the flashing lights on the backs of buses – motorists must slow down to 40km/h when these lights flash as it means children are getting on or off the bus in the area," Lawrence added.

"Parents should also wait on the correct side of the road where the bus stop is when picking their children up to avoid a child running out in front of or behind a bus."

"We all have a part to play in bus safety – it’s important we do what we can to avoid preventable incidents and be bus aware," Lawrence explained.

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ABOUT SAFETY WEEK

The sixth annual NSW Bus Safety Week runs 22 - 28 February. 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

* Injuries and incidents reported for the period January, 2020, to February, 2021, for Sydney Metropolitan Bus Service Contract 1 – Western Sydney covering Blacktown, Penrith and Windsor.

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