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Letter to ACTION Buses. After two near misses in the space of one hour.

By yoyoyo - 24 August 2013 77
ACTION Buses,
GPO BOX 158,
Canberra City ACT 2601
Dear ACTION,
I don’t normally make a big fuss of things as I am quite a tolerant person, however the other day I had a couple run ins with ACTION BUS drivers.  Both incidents occurred at the same intersection within 1 hour of each other.  One face value they may seem trivial, but I think it demonstrates an underlying negative culture that ACTION Bus drivers have toward pedestrians.
Let me first set the scene of incident number 1.  As you can see from attached photo I was wearing a highly visible bright yellow top, not for fashion reasons but because of having just stepped off the construction site I was working on as project manager of multimillion dollar residential development. Being on construction sites you quickly learn not to take your safety for granted and so keep your whits about you even with all the safety systems in place as required by OH&S laws.  Its now a habit of mine which has saved me countless times when visiting overseas lesser developed countries.
The location of the first incident was as shown in the attached photo, is the  eastern corner of Northbourne Ave and Allara st. leading into the civic bus interchange at around 12:30pm on Tuesday 20th August 2013.  So you can imagine there would be a lot of pedestrians busily walking to get there lunch.
After checking the pedestrian crossing lights were green, I was just about to cross the intersection in a southward direction toward the Sydney building when as my foot began to touch the asphalt of the road an ACTION bus began turning the corner off Northbourne into Allara and with out hesitation continued on its way narrowly missing me.  Had I been relying on the traffic lights to guide me through the intersection alone I would have ended up in the direct path of an on coming bus. Scoreboard would have read game over 1-0 to ACTION. However I did check both sides of the road before crossing and I did see in my peripheral vision the ACTION Bus.  I didn’t notice if its indicators where being used, but I did stop myself in my tracks just in case the driver did choose to not make way for me, which he didn’t with out hesitation knowing that I had right of way on multiple fronts and that I was now standing on the side of the road looking to cross it.
Incident number 2 occurred at 1:10pm, at the same intersection on the same day but this time I was heading in a northward direction.  Having lost all faith in the bus drivers competence with the basic road rules I thought I would check if it was an isolated case of diminishing IQ. Noticing that all lights at the intersection were red and there was no moving traffic only a stationary ACTION bus waiting at the front of the intersection to cross Northbourne in an westerly direction  I began to cross the intersection knowing that it was dangerous to do so, but ultimately relying on my own senses and awareness to get me across safely and not the pedestrian lights which had so dismally failed me earlier on.  As I was crossing the intersection the traffic lights for the Bus turned green, by which time I was in direct path, two metres away from the frontal impact zone of the bus. To my astonishment, even while wearing my bright yellow top , I noticed the bus lunge at me.  Either the bus driver had not seen me, which I find hard to believe or he was blind as a bat.  Intimidation also crossed my mind as the driver may have hoped I would scurry off like a scared rabbit.  Either way in my mind I was ready for the drivers intimidation and I just froze, pulled out my right hand, palm facing forward towards the driver in a gesture  to halt the drivers mad lust for pedestrian blood.  Then I calmly continued on my way to the other side of the intersection by which time the driver of the ACTION bus had continued on his way.  I did catch a glimpse of the bus number, something like a 457 was imprinted on the side, but i cant be sure.
From this short experience it can be shown that it is evidence of a sour culture festering with in the ACTION bus organisation.  I felt intimidation, lack of empathy, disregard for the road rules from these drivers.  I for one don’t feel comfortable in letting such people transport my children to school.  There needs to be  a shake up and the first heads to role should come from the top.
The day that public transport becomes fully automated (don’t be surprised if we see it in our own life times, its just around the corner) can’t come soon enough.
Please ACTION clean up your act, for the sake of the children at least who frequent your services.

[ED – Image not correctly attached. Please email in to images@the-riotact.com ]

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77 Responses to
Letter to ACTION Buses. After two near misses in the space of one hour.
JC 1:29 pm 24 Aug 13

voytek3 said :

The problem is that pedestrians in Canberra are generally morons. You sound like one of these. Yesterday I watched a woman in Civic pushing a pram walk straight onto the road without even so much as glancing to see if there was any traffic coming. At the time there happened to be a bus about five metres away from turning onto that road and the driver had to slam on the brakes to avoid flattening this utter moron. All I could think was that it was a pity she’d pro created.

Whilst the lady was stupid for not looking, the bus on the other hand should have been slowing to give way to her anyway. Not many realise, but if turning onto a road pedestrians have right of way, even if there are no pedestrian lights. It is covered in many places in the rules but rule 72 para 3 a of the national road rules covers intersections without lights or a slip lane.

bundah 1:28 pm 24 Aug 13

Spare a thought for the unfortunate elderly woman who whilst crossing Monaro St Queanbeyan was run over and dragged almost 20 metres by a cement truck yesterday at around 1pm. Apparently the driver of the cement truck had momentarily stopped in a line of traffic as another car was reverse parking and the woman attempted to weave her way between cars and was unsighted by the driver of the cement truck due to the long bonnet on the truck which restricted his vision. Terribly sad situation.

Instant Mash 1:02 pm 24 Aug 13

Not condoning OP’s actions, but I do agree with the low standard of driving set by Action drivers. Ever since they put that new roundabout at Charnwood shops, it seems to have become a game between them to see who can get through it fastest. I’ve seen four separate people fall over (luckily without injury) simply due to their overzealous driving. The fact that there is a bus stop directly after it makes it even worse because rather than slowing down earlier due to the roundabout, they just slam the brakes on straight after.

I guess I need to start recording this crap.

Paul0075 12:45 pm 24 Aug 13

Bus drivers are human and therefore prone to error, as we all are.

These kinds of incidents are definitely not limited to ACTION buses, but also happen with bicycle riders, motorcyclists, truck and car drivers. Sometimes regardless of what colour you’re wearing you will not be seen.

Bus drivers rely on their driving skills for an income, the majority are not stupid and will not jeopardise their job because they want to put the wind up someone who is crossing the road.

Timetables are also drawn up with a bit of slack built in, in case the bus gets delayed, so there shouldn’t be any reason for the driver to be rushing beyond a speed limit to make up time. Most drivers wouldn’t be too worried anyway, because it would be unsafe for them to speeding in 15 tonnes of bus with passengers on board.

voytek3 12:43 pm 24 Aug 13

The problem is that pedestrians in Canberra are generally morons. You sound like one of these. Yesterday I watched a woman in Civic pushing a pram walk straight onto the road without even so much as glancing to see if there was any traffic coming. At the time there happened to be a bus about five metres away from turning onto that road and the driver had to slam on the brakes to avoid flattening this utter moron. All I could think was that it was a pity she’d pro created.

Genie 12:37 pm 24 Aug 13

Uhhhh Allara St is nowhere near the Sydney Building or Northbourne Ave

How_Canberran 11:47 am 24 Aug 13

Lets hope the OP does not discover bicycles and lycra

How Canberran

bigfeet 11:33 am 24 Aug 13

I assume you wrote a similar letter to ACT Police giving them your full name and address so they can send you tickets for breaching 231(1) and 236(2) of the Australian Road Rules.

Or do you believe that only bus drivers have to comply with the law, whereas you are exempt?

Brianna 11:25 am 24 Aug 13

I have two friends who are very sight impaired. One with less than 10% vision and the other less than 5% vision remaining. Both had had problems with ACTION buses. One has been hit by an ACTION bus twice. Fortunately not injured badly. Not just a case of jaywalking……many ACTION drivers seem intent on maiming on a daily basis. Neither of my friends is frivolous with their walking and are very cautious.

Henry82 11:02 am 24 Aug 13
bundah 11:02 am 24 Aug 13

I began to cross the intersection knowing that it was dangerous to do so, but ultimately relying on my own senses and awareness to get me across safely and not the pedestrian lights which had so dismally failed me earlier on

Danger danger Will Robinson..

Snave81 10:48 am 24 Aug 13

When was Allara St connected to Northbourne Ave? Perhaps it would be better to use Alinga St to get to the bus station.

Blen_Carmichael 10:31 am 24 Aug 13

“Either way in my mind I was ready for the drivers intimidation and I just froze, pulled out my right hand, palm facing forward towards the driver in a gesture to halt the drivers mad lust for pedestrian blood.”

Can’t wait for the movie.

JC 10:10 am 24 Aug 13

Holden Caulfield said :

Let me get this straight.

You were jaywalking and when the bus got a green light and the driver didn’t want to give way to you, even though you didn’t have right of way, you decided to write in and complain?

In the second case it would appear that way, but the first case the OP is 100% right, he had a green pedestrian walk light and any vehicle turning into his path has to give way.

That said in the 2nd case even though he was doing the wrong thing, green at lights doesn’t mean go. contrary to what many think. It means go if it is safe to do so. So even though the OP was doing the wrong thing, the bus should not have moved as it wasn’t safe to do so. An excuse of not being seen doesn’t really cut it in that are due to the high pedestrian activity the bus interchange has.

So yeah agree with him, just not his silly actions in the 2nd case.

Holden Caulfield 9:42 am 24 Aug 13

Let me get this straight.

You were jaywalking and when the bus got a green light and the driver didn’t want to give way to you, even though you didn’t have right of way, you decided to write in and complain?

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