Bus Safety Week 2021 - Be Bus Aware

Busways is urging everyone to stay safe and be alert on and around buses as part of Bus Safety Week (Feb 22 - 28 2021).

Bus Safety Week aims to improve the safety of pedestrians, riders, passengers, and drivers, helping to reduce injuries and lives lost on NSW roads.

Bus Safety Week Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said the statistics show when it comes to crashes involving a bus, most fatalities and serious injuries occur in metropolitan areas.

“We see some really dangerous behaviour around buses and it’s quite shocking to think people would put themselves and others at risk like that,” Mr Constance said.

“Fortunately, bus crashes did drop during 2020, but we also had fewer people out and about. As everyone starts returning to work and coming back into our busier areas, we really need everyone to pay attention, be aware and stay alert.”

School child crossing

Over the five-year period up to June 2020, a total of 34 people were killed in crashes involving buses in NSW. Of the 34 fatalities, 15 were pedestrians. During the same five-year period, 362 people were seriously injured in bus crashes including, 69 pedestrians and 18 bicycle riders.

“This week is a reminder for pedestrians to find a safe place to cross the road, avoid walking in front of or behind a bus and don’t get distracted by your mobile phone,” Mr Constance said.

“And if you’re on a bicycle or motorcycle you need to be aware of a bus’s blind spots because if you can’t see their mirrors, the bus driver can’t see you.”

Busways Western Sydney Service Delivery Manager Steven Hawkins said the public need to remember that buses are big, heavy vehicles that can’t stop quickly.

“It’s important for motorists not to cut in front of a bus and ensure you give way to them if they’re merging into traffic,” Mr Hawkins said. It’s also vital that pedestrians to be alert and watch out for buses and passengers travelling on the bus hold on while the bus is moving.”

“Unfortunately, in the last 12 months there were over 170 avoidable safety incidents around buses in Western Sydney*,” he said. “Penrith has 24 per cent of these incidents with the highest causes being passengers not holding on while travelling, heavy braking on the bus due to a car cutting in front of the bus, and passengers tripping while getting on or off the bus.”

Waiting at bus stop

Busways Regional Operations Support Manager Mark Lawrence said Bus Safety Week is also a time to remind drivers to keep safe distances from school buses and to slow down to 40km when they see the flashing lights, as it means children are getting on or off the bus and could move out onto the road from a buses’ blind spots.

"We see a lot of people not paying attention to the flashing lights on the backs of buses in the regional areas – motorists must slow down to 40km/h when these lights flash as it means children are getting on or off the bus in the area,” Mr Lawrence said. “Parents should also wait on the correct side of the road where the bus stop is when picking their children up to avoid a child running out in front of or behind a bus.”

Flashing lights

“We all have a part to play in bus safety, and Busways encourages all road users to Be Bus Aware and act safely so everyone can get home to their loved ones,” Mr Lawrence said.

For more tips on being bus safe, visit the Be Bus Aware website www.bebusaware.com.au