Dangerous Bus Driving

H1NG0 14 January 2008 73

Driving down Northbourne to work this morning, I witnessed a massive brainfade involving three ACTION bus drivers.

Heading South in the the left lane, I noticed three busses ahead in my lane. I switched into the middle lane presuming one of the busses would eventually stop to pick up passengers. As the first bus in the line stopped, the bus at the end of the line (3rd bus) quickly switched into the middle lane forcing the cars in front of me to hit their brakes. The second bus in the line decided to pull out as well, forcing the 3rd bus further into the right lane narrowly missing a Toyota Echo.

The ACTION drivers who switched lanes never even thought about hitting the brakes and did this at speed. I doubt they checked their mirrors as there was simply no time. Luckily, there was just enough space in each lane so nobody got hit. The funny thing is, the bus in the right lane had to switch back over all the lanes to make a quick turn left soon after. Why couldn’t they wait the 30 or so seconds it takes for the other bus to pick up the passengers? Insanity.

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73 Responses to Dangerous Bus Driving
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VicePope VicePope 10:03 am 14 Jan 08

Have seen enough of this kind of thing to give them a wide berth. The most recent was the one who charged through a very small roundabout in Wanniassa, forcing a car already going through onto the roundabout to avoid being hit. And those who pull out from stops, sometimes without indicating, when some poor clown is halfway along their length and must either slam on the brakes or make an ill-considered move into another lane.

Buses are big and hard to drive. They spend much time on suburban roads. They have passengers, especially on school specials, who are clueless and distracting. These are reasons their drivers should be more careful, not excuses when they behave like clowns/bullies.

Anyone know if ACTION has a line/e-mail for reporting some of this stuff?

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 10:24 am 14 Jan 08

Found at http://www.action.act.gov.au/contact.cfm

ACTION Feedback (online form)
Complain by email

Telephone: Call 13 17 10 or (02) 6207 7611 outside the ACT.

By post:
GPO Box 158
Canberra City ACT 2601

hingo_VRCalaisV6 hingo_VRCalaisV6 10:27 am 14 Jan 08

Yep – http://www.action.act.gov.au/contact.cfm

I figured complaining directly to ACTION would fall on deaf ears. I’m also not old and grey just yet so I’ll survive. I thought it was pretty retarded driving and needed to make sure I’m not the only one who thinks so.

piperdoon piperdoon 10:28 am 14 Jan 08

don’t know but probably is one – in relation to thsoe who pull out from stops without looking – it’s arrogance associated with the give way to buses/buses have right of way pulling out form stops – they seem to take this as carte blance to opull out when the feel like it. i would have thought due care, diligence and regard for mororists close to them , along side etc comes before their right to pull out – the “put indicator on and go attitude” is bullying and not good for ACTION’s rep or road safety generally. There, I feel a little better with that off my chest!

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 10:46 am 14 Jan 08

If you don’t think ACTION are going to do anything about it you -could- complain to your local MLA, but then we’ll all think you’re a pansy.
Any good RiotActer knows the best way to get things done is the Vigilante Method.

aa aa 11:22 am 14 Jan 08

Action bus drivers act like they own the roads. They never give way and they change lanes without checking if there’s people there already. I’ve complained several times, but nothing ever happens about it.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 11:44 am 14 Jan 08

The Road Rules state:

77 Giving way to buses
(1) A driver driving on a length of road in a built-up area, in the left lane or left line of traffic, must give way to a bus in front of the driver if:
(a) the bus has stopped, or is moving slowly, at the far left side of the road, on a shoulder of the road, or in a bus-stop bay; and
(b) the bus displays a give way to buses sign and the right direction indicator lights of the bus are operating; and
(c) the bus is about to enter or proceed in the lane or line of traffic in which the driver is driving.
Offence provision.
Note 1 Built-up area, bus and length of road are defined in the dictionary, left lane and left line of traffic are defined in subrule (2), and shoulder is defined in rule 12.
Note 2 For this rule, give way means the driver must slow down and, if necessary, stop to avoid a collision — see the definition in the dictionary.
Note 3 The driver of the bus must give the change of direction signal for long enough to give sufficient warning to other drivers and pedestrians — see rule 48 (2) and (3).
Note 4 Under rule 87 (1), a driver entering a marked lane, or a line of traffic, from the side of the road must give way to any vehicle travelling in the lane or line of traffic. However, the driver of a public bus does not have to give way to a vehicle if the vehicle is required to give way to the bus under this rule and it is safe for the bus to enter the lane, or line of traffic, in which the other vehicle is travelling — see rule 87 (2).
(2) In this rule:
left lane, of a road, means:
(a) the marked lane nearest to the far left side of the road (the first lane) or, if the first lane is a bicycle lane, the marked lane next to the first lane; or
(b) if there is an obstruction in the first lane (for example, a parked car or roadworks) and the first lane is not a bicycle lane — the marked lane next to the first lane.
left line of traffic, for a road, means the line of traffic nearest to the far left side of the road.

So they can change lanes and a following driver must give way when they do. Looks like the key issue is whether the driver gave “sufficient notice”.

Certainly it’s good to see ACTION drivers leapfrogging a stopped bus. We have been onto ACTION GM Tom Elliott about the stupidity of the conga lines of buses stuck in the outside lane on Northbourne (they call it “clumping”), meaning that the bus in front determines the time taken for every other bus behind it. While one stop might only be 30 seconds Hingo, by the time you add all the stops down Northbourne, you have a situation where the bus trip from Gungahlin takes about 8 minutes to Downer, then 35 minutes for the last 5 minutes worth of road.

All of that said, ACTION drivers have to start giving a bit more notice with the Give Way move. I regularly have to dodge them pulling back onto the Federal Highway northbound near the Kamberra Winery, which is an 80kph area, and therefore a very dodgy move on the driver’s part.

NathanaelB NathanaelB 12:20 pm 14 Jan 08

I was nearly run off the road when an ACTION bus driver decided to abuse their Give Way right and cross 3 lanes of traffic from the left lane of Northbourne out of a bus stop (Northbound) to the turn right slip lane into Dickson in the space of 5 metres. I had to stomp on the brakes to avoid being run into the curb, I’m not kidding.

piperdoon piperdoon 12:23 pm 14 Jan 08

that was my point – surely it being safe to pull out and sufficient notice is the crux of the whole thing – most just seem to think the “law” and their magic signs on the back give them impunity to act without due notice or safely.

Mr Waffle Mr Waffle 12:34 pm 14 Jan 08

I go the same way to work, see it happen all the time. Saw it even moreso when I used to catch the bus. Nowadays I avoid busses like the plague…

I had a far more intimate encounter with a bus about ten years ago- one rammed my mum’s car when she was taking me to school. We were sitting in the middle of a T-intersection waiting to turn right (coming from the ‘bottom’ of the T, there was an island so room to wait) and a bus came up from behind and rammed into us. He said he couldn’t see us, since he was watching the cars coming from the left…

marcothepolopony marcothepolopony 12:53 pm 14 Jan 08

Like Vice Pope, I, too, was almost hit by an ACTION bus at a roundabout in Wanniassa yesterday.
The driver disregarded the old ‘Give Way to the Right’ rule and missed my family by an inch! A frightening way to start the day. Perhaps a breath test prior to commencement of work on Sunday mornings is in order at Tuggeranong ACTION HW?

hingo_VRCalaisV6 hingo_VRCalaisV6 1:05 pm 14 Jan 08

I have no problem with the busses changing lanes Gungahlin Al as we all want to be on time, but they need to give sufficient notice. If a bus is turning left at the next intersection, there is no point doing the lane change as they will not be stuck behind that bus after they make the turn anyway. Its pointless. If their are cars alongside in the lane, then the car should have right of way since they are already in the lane. This was changing lanes for the sake of saving a few seconds.

astrojax astrojax 1:27 pm 14 Jan 08

yes people, but if you were in the bus and not driving your car, all would have been well…

hingo_VRCalaisV6 hingo_VRCalaisV6 2:03 pm 14 Jan 08

Yeah Astrojax, unless the bus hit the Toyota, in which the passengers would be canned tuna. Three busses three lanes wide. As soon as I saw it my foot was on the brake followed promptly by a “Holy Shiiiiit!!!”. It could have a been huge.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 2:32 pm 14 Jan 08

Did they hit any cyclists?

tybreaker tybreaker 2:42 pm 14 Jan 08

Pull over and wait 30 seconds? Time is money!

howdy howdy 2:48 pm 14 Jan 08

Unfortunately bus drivers often need to force themselves onto the road because if they didn’t no-one would let them out. We know they will pull out and as defensive drivers we slow down and let them.

Otherwise have you ever seen a car stuck on the side of the road try and pull out into traffic using their indicator? Pfft, serves em right, they can sit there we think as we drive by – that’s what would happen to the bus.

Needless to say I came close to being a decoration on the side of a bus once. Because a bus driver decided to follow another bus out and cut me off when I was next to him. If I had been less wary I would have been accelerating to get past and would not have made it. Luckily I wasn’t feeling very trusting at the time and was able to brake instead as he skimmed past.
That’s when they take their liberties too far. Decent bus drivers indicate, move forward slowly to show their intention and then make sure people are changing lanes and slowing down for them, they don’t pull out ‘into’ a car : P

If they want to fix the problem they probably need to address whatever is making them run behind schedule and putting on the pressure to ‘go go go’. Unrealistic bus time tables?

gooterz gooterz 3:25 pm 14 Jan 08

Not nearly as bad as when i was waiting in woden last year.. at the interchange only to hear a bang and then see a taxi rolling down through the keep clear at the enterance to the interchange. then a bus pull up next to it.. then later driving off and stopping near the police station.

The passanger in the the taxi forgot something and forced the driver to stop at the lights..
the lights were green so the bus decided to roar around the taxi but ended up hitting it and the elderly passenger fell out onto the concrete.

As for round abouts … geez i’ve had quite a few drivers of 300 route busses pull out into the round about on athalon drive then have to stop because of an on coming car.. which then caused 5-10 cars to have to change lanes on the round about to pass the bus..

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 3:32 pm 14 Jan 08

Solid points all around. When Tom Elliott came back to our meeting in December, we put it to him that a solution would be to build bus stop bays in the footpath area and out of the traffic lane, wherever there was sufficient space. The idea wasn’t dismissed, so it would come to follow-up and funding.

Anyway, I’ll drop an email to Tom to make sure he’s seen this thread…

hingo_VRCalaisV6 hingo_VRCalaisV6 3:51 pm 14 Jan 08

Bus bays would be a great solution. Works well along Marrabei drive in Gungahlin. I don’t see it happening, but its a nice idea.

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