Bus safety week gets underway for the third year

The state’s third annual Bus Safety Week kicks off today, encouraging motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and passengers to Be Bus Aware.

With almost 4,000 buses operating in the Sydney metropolitan area and thousands on our regional and country roads, the initiative aims to improve safety for people in and around buses across NSW.

NSW Centre for Road Safety Executive Director Bernard Carlon said the last five years have seen too many people being killed or seriously injured in bus related incidents.

“From 2012 to 2016, 29 people lost their lives and 474 people were seriously injured in bus crashes on NSW roads,” said Mr Carlon.

“Of these 29 fatalities, 13 were pedestrians, two were cyclists, eight drivers of other vehicles, three bus passengers, one passenger of another vehicle, one bus driver and a motorcyclist.

“We are committed to moving Towards Zero fatalities and serious injuries on our roads, which is why we need motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and passengers to pay attention and follow the road rules.

State Transit Authority Chief Executive Steffen Faurby said with STA set to operate around 5700 of the 7000 new weekly bus services being added to the network from 26th November, all road users must play their part when it comes to staying safe in and around buses.

“Bus Safety Week is about everyone taking responsibility for bus safety. Buses are large, heavy vehicles that can’t stop quickly, so keep a safe distance and give way to buses. This applies whether you’re walking, cycling, riding or driving,” said Mr Faurby.

“If you’re driving, avoid cutting in front when the lights are flashing on the back of the bus, reduce your speed to 40 kilometres per hour and give them the right of way. Remember that buses are often carrying some of our most vulnerable road users – our children.”

“As a pedestrian it’s important that you are vigilant about safety, look out before you step out and be safe by making use of pedestrian crossings.”

“Your behaviour on and around the road can affect a bus load of people – stay alert.”

BusNSW Executive Director Matt Threlkeld said the private bus industry is also behind this important safety campaign.

“Every day thousands of bus drivers throughout NSW have the responsibility of ensuring millions of passengers reach their destination safely,” he said.

“This includes adults, pensioners and more than 650,000 students. We’re now asking fellow road users and pedestrians to play their part in helping to keep everybody safe.”

Bus Safety Week starts today and will run through until Sunday 12 November.

To follow the week visit NSW Road Safety on Facebook or the Be Bus Aware website