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Poor driving standards of ACTION drivers

By peebus 30 April 2013 23

One question, what is with the appalling driving standards of ACTION drivers these days?

Last night travelling home from work is came across a roundabout on Athlon Drive. I was turning right, and so indicated nice and early and proceeded into the roundabout. As I was coming around to the traffic facing directly opposite me, an ACTION bus that was waiting decided to try and get out in front of me. The car next to him knew the gap was too small and waited but the bus went anyway. I had to come to a complete stop in the middle of the roundabout because the driver was too impatient to wait his turn – and because I was stopped the driver behind me nearly ran into the back of me.

I have noticed bus drivers being absolute tools on the roads more and more these days – from basic things like not being able to stay inside their own lanes on a arrow straight road, to speeding (and driving well below speed limits), and behaving in a fashion like they were in charge of an ordinary car – not a lump of metal that is 3-4 times the size.

Do they need to have their skills tested on an annual basis to confirm that they can master the basic road tactics of driving a bus? Frankly it’s becoming down-right dangerous.


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Poor driving standards of ACTION drivers
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Diverdownunder 6:39 pm 06 May 13

As a driver for Action, I’d like to make a few points. I agree there are a few poor drivers in our ranks.
There are over 600 drivers, so there will always be a few bad eggs.

I would like to ask “Why don’t Canberra drivers give way to buses, pulling out of bus stops?’
It’s the law, not courtesy.
Are Canberra drivers aware that they must give way to all traffic, on a roundabout?
This means if I’m pulled up at a roundabout and I start to move off, just because you are on my Right you DON’T have right of way (unless we are both at the entry at the same time}

Lastly, that 4 Second gap that I leave to the car in front is there because I need extra distance to stop, It’s not an invitation for you to zip into that space.

thanks.

JC 6:42 am 01 May 13

NoImRight said :

While ever ACTION can only recruit drivers from the human race we will have problems.

Though of course they have the ability to filter those humans and train them to be better than the average human.

JC 6:37 am 01 May 13

Conan of Cooma said :

There are more idiots in cars than buses in Canberra. ACTION should be the least of your concerns.

True but they are generally not driving heavy 12m long buses that could be carrying 50+ passengers.

JC 6:32 am 01 May 13

Op think you hit the nail on the head when you said a lot of drivers drive like they are driving their own cars. Clearly there is a big difference. Best suggestion is to complain to Action eventually they will get the message and improve standards and maybe sack the bad eggs.

TP 3000 11:10 pm 30 Apr 13

JitterBlip said :

I have a similar story. Recently, westbound on Barry Drive between Willows and North Ovals where the there is now a form-one-lane, I was driving around 2m ahead of a bus which was in the lane left to me. However, instead of yielding to me as he should have so we could both merge, the driver put his foot down. This meant I had to: come to a complete stop quickly, merge into the right lane completely out of his way, or speed up to pass him myself. With traffic behind me and to my right, I sped up to edge past the bus, while the bus driver went bananas, flashed his lights, blew his horn and shook his head. Pathetic. I’m sorry I missed the bus’ rego. I’m still fuming about it…

What should be asked of this, is why would a bus need to do this now that they have their own lane? Unless he/she saw a gap ahead & was trying to get into this gap to turn right at the next set of lights.

TP 3000 11:06 pm 30 Apr 13

Madam Cholet said :

Interestingly, someone called @Bus400 has been tweeting traffic advice in the last few days – I only see this because Action re-tweet their tweets.

If you look at the Action twitter feed recently there are a few complaints about driving standards.

@Bus400 is not a bus driver & ACT Police Traffic twitter feed have been retweeting the helpful tips not ACTION.

It should also be mentioned that there is no ACT Government Twitter feed to whinge about other drivers or bicycles. There is how ever someone who reads whines about bus drivers driving.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 8:12 pm 30 Apr 13

What’s wrong with driving below the speed limit?

GardeningGirl 8:02 pm 30 Apr 13

Innovation said :

. . many ACTION drivers could indicate earlier both when pulling out and turning . .

Only an annoyance compared to some of the really dangerous examples given, but I was once in a line of traffic and we all one by one considerately stopped for the bus indicating he was pulling out only to realise he was still chatting. The most common thing is putting the indicator on at the same time as they pull out but sometimes they also just leave the indicator on because at some time in the future they intend to pull out. No wonder people disregard bus signals. A lot of them need a refresher course in “use of indicator in a timely manner”.

bd84 4:39 pm 30 Apr 13

As a car user, the standard of driving of ACTION bus drivers is quite good, the majority of problems relate to car drivers that have no idea what they’re doing.

I too have had a bus pull out on me at a roundabout, a few years ago. I’ve also have had a bus almost kill me when it sped up to try and force past and beat me to the form one lane a couple of years ago and recently saw one or two go through red lights. A very small proportion to the number of cars and motorcycles doing the same thing.

I normally see good tolerance from the bus drivers who have to deal with idiots who fail to give way to buses pulling out from the stop. Keeping in mind you’re required to slow to prepare to give way for a bus to pull out.

A good proportion of buses coming to a quick stop are the result of others, such as cars pulling in front or passengers signalling their desire to get on or off late.

Also, people have no courtesy for buses changing lanes. While there is no requirement to give way to them, it only takes a bit of common sense to realise that buses do not have the option to miss the turn and take the next one. Therefore they need to change lanes for a reason and your should give them room.

Erg0 1:04 pm 30 Apr 13

JazzyJess said :

I catch busses every day and find the driving just fine thanks. If anything I feel sorry for the bus drivers because they have to put up with all the terrible car drivers. I’m always astounded at how badly most (though not all) Canberrans drive. Having lived in Sydney and Melbourne I feel qualified to make such a ridiculously sweeping statement.

It’s a good thing I’m an above average driver and thus your statement doesn’t apply to me.

(said everyone)

Genie 12:51 pm 30 Apr 13

To the OP. This happens every day on the Barton Hwy / Gundaroo drive roundabout.

No buses involved. Just cars.

It’s more of a ‘yay, I didn’t have to stop in the middle of the roundabout’ than crap that guy didn’t have enough room and I had to brake to avoid hitting them.

JazzyJess 12:37 pm 30 Apr 13

I catch busses every day and find the driving just fine thanks. If anything I feel sorry for the bus drivers because they have to put up with all the terrible car drivers. I’m always astounded at how badly most (though not all) Canberrans drive. Having lived in Sydney and Melbourne I feel qualified to make such a ridiculously sweeping statement.

NoImRight 11:12 am 30 Apr 13

While ever ACTION can only recruit drivers from the human race we will have problems.

Conan of Cooma 11:06 am 30 Apr 13

There are more idiots in cars than buses in Canberra. ACTION should be the least of your concerns.

Innovation 10:55 am 30 Apr 13

Like any group there will always be bad apples. Wherever possible I tend to make as much room as possible for buses and trucks on the road, slowing down a little before intersections/ roundabouts etc gives them a bit more space to get through. It doesn’t cost me much in time, it avoids me having to stop suddenly or take other evasive action if they decide to squeeze in anyway and it saves energy (they use more fuel than my little car).

I’m amazed how many drivers don’t respect the larger buffer zone needed in front of these vehicles, pulling out in front of the and often cutting back in as soon as they have overtaken them. And many people don’t seem to realise how impossible it would be (or the effect on traffic behind them) for them to wait for breaks in traffic if they didn’t push in.

Despite this, many ACTION drivers could indicate earlier both when pulling out and turning (and the buses should be modified to have larger/more indicators down the side). As well, I have been pushed into the gutter in the cycle lane on Northbourne Avenue when a bus has passed and forgotten how wide they are.

bigred 10:39 am 30 Apr 13

Have caught quite a few buses over the last few days. Some drivers have been good, some have been bad. Bit like you see with taxis nowadays really.

Anyway, the driver of the no 28 bus I caught yesterday from Woden was both courteous and accomplished. He understood how to make that bus flow along through the morning traffic.

Malteser 10:38 am 30 Apr 13

Breaking hard and fast at the last minute is definitely a favourite of mine. Especially when the bus is full and you face plant someone’s shoulder.

JitterBlip 10:22 am 30 Apr 13

Very Busy said :

There are two sides to every story. Prior to the “form one lane”, and knowing that it was coming up, did you intentionally speed up to place you car next to the bus because you didn’t want to end up behind it?

I didn’t anticipate the form-one-lane. I think it’s new. I didn’t speed up to get in front of the bus in anticipation of it. I’m a pretty cautious driver. We were both doing around 40, as was (and I think still is) the limit there.

Very Busy said :

Let me tell you – putting your foot down in a bus has such a delayed effect on the vehicle speed that the rate of acceleration would not have increased in the situation you are describing. The facts in your story appear very selective. Yes/no?

The bus came ahead of me, alongside me to my left, while we were both entering the form-one-lane. I hadn’t changed speed as I expected him to do the right thing and yield to be because I was clearly ahead in the right lane.

Nevertheless, I admit there’s probably nothing I can say to eliminate any doubt about what happened, so what’s the point, really.

OP, I agree that some ACTION bus drivers can certainly act like tools…

Ghettosmurf87 9:53 am 30 Apr 13

As a frequent bus user (daily) I’ve certainly noticed hat the bus drivers lately have been struggling more and more. In the last month:

*I’ve had drivers who didn’t know their routes.

*A driver who filled an entire bus at the interchange and started to leave before realising they had the wrong number displayed on the bus and having to empty it out to get the right people on it.

*Numerous drivers who seem to have forgotten that you can use the brakes at times other than the last possible second, which might just avoid throwing all your passengers around and into the support railings. These same drivers also seem unable to cope with the concept of roundabouts, which is distastrous in suburban canberra, alternating between mounting the gutter/roundabout and crawling through at a snails pace.

*And wrost of all is the number of drivers who seem to think a red light doesn’t matter anymore. Now don’t get me wrong, I like getting home as soon as possible, but that doesn’t mean I feel at all comfortable when a massive bus flies through an intersection when the light went RED (not orange) 10-20m before they got to the intersection. While I might be safe inside the bus, I sure as hell know that any car in its way is going to end up as scrap.

I get that we need bus drivers to drive our buses, but that is no excuse for hiring incompetent and/or reckless drivers who put both their passengers and the general public at risk. Maybe these bus drivers have always existed and I’m just unlucky enough that they are driving my routes these days?

For the record, there are also plenty of really good, friendly, calm and thoughtful drivers out there which I really appreciate.

Very Busy 9:52 am 30 Apr 13

JitterBlip said :

I sped up to edge past the bus

There are two sides to every story. Prior to the “form one lane”, and knowing that it was coming up, did you intentionally speed up to place you car next to the bus because you didn’t want to end up behind it?

JitterBlip said :

the driver put his foot down.

Let me tell you – putting your foot down in a bus has such a delayed effect on the vehicle speed that the rate of acceleration would not have increased in the situation you are describing.

The facts in your story appear very selective. Yes/no?

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