The NSW Government is urging everyone to stay alert on and around buses as Bus Safety Week begins.
The initiative aims to improve the safety of all drivers, riders, pedestrians and passengers; helping reduce injuries and fatalities.
NSW has one of the largest metropolitan bus fleets in the country, with around 4,000 buses operating in the Sydney metropolitan area and more than 1,000 in Newcastle, Wollongong and the Blue Mountains. There are also around 3,000 buses operating on regional and country roads.
In 2017-18, buses in NSW completed 330 million passenger trips.
Centre for Road Safety Executive Director Bernard Carlon said in the last five years, 34 people were killed in crashes involving a bus in NSW.
“Fourteen of those people killed were pedestrians and two were cyclists. Drivers always need to be on the lookout for vulnerable road users and pedestrians should always use a safe place to cross,” Mr Carlon said.
- Bus Safety Week runs from 18-24 February 2019
- From 2014 – 2018, 34 people were killed in bus crashes
- From June 2013 – June 2018, 454 people were seriously injured
- Pedestrians make up almost half of all fatalities in bus crashes in metropolitan areas
In the last five years, three children were also tragically killed after alighting from a bus and being struck by another vehicle.
A bus flashing lights safety campaign runs at the start of each term to warn motorists that children are getting on or off the bus. Drivers must slow down to 40km/h when bus lights flash.
“When traveling by bus, your child is most at risk in the minutes after they get off the bus. We don’t want another family to experience the loss of a loved one. Always meet your child at the bus stop. Never wait on the opposite side of the road and call them across. Hold their hand and cross the road safely together,” Mr Carlon said.
State Transit chief executive, Steffen Faurby, said the safety of bus drivers, passengers and other road users is a priority.
“Buses are big, heavy vehicles that cannot stop quickly. If a bus has to brake suddenly because a car pulls out or a pedestrian walks onto the road, it can lead to an accident,” said Mr Faurby.
“I urge all road users to keep a safe distance from buses and to give way to buses pulling out from a stop. For passengers, please hold on and don’t move around the bus when it’s moving.”
Transport for NSW is also working with bus operators to reinforce road rules and safety messages to thousands of drivers.
The NSW Government has committed to equipping all rural and regional school buses with seatbelts by the end of 2021.
“We are focused on protecting all road users. Too many families are affected by the trauma of losing a loved one or having someones life shattered with a permanent injury. That’s why we are committed to moving Towards Zero as we deliver our Road Safety Plan 2021,” Mr Carlon said.
Source: NSW Government