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Just doing some thinking

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Printed on: 12/20/2014

Topic:


Topic author: Terrance
Subject: Just doing some thinking
Posted on: 01/08/2008 9:06:33 PM
Message:

Hey I was just thinking I live in an area in which our drivers only drive because its the only job around. And the school bus contractor has majority Ic's. Well of course you know how the power door and lights are on the steering wheel but the door doesnt open until you have made a complete stop as a safety feature. And it's pretty self explainatory as to why I mean you dont wanna be on the highway and accidentally open the door. Well anyway around here all the drivers bitc* about how when they get to railroad crossing they have to come to a complete stop before opening the door. And i ask them "Dont you have to stop completely regardless?" So now they just slow down look both ways and proceed. Cant they get in trouble? This problem is only with the people with the newer internationals. Is it really a safety feature? What do you guys think?

Replies:


Reply author: disp29
Replied on: 01/09/2008 01:53:48 AM
Message:

Yes, it really is a safety feature and Yes, it is illegal to go over a railroad crossing without stopping, opening your door, look & listening, and THEN proceeding. I think in some places you can even lose your license if you get caught going over the tracks without stopping. I'm not exactly sure about all the other specifics... someone jump in and help me out, please


Reply author: Bus9709
Replied on: 01/09/2008 08:18:48 AM
Message:

I believe it is illegal. A handful or two of our buses say on the back "This vehicle STOPS at all railway crossings." XD


Reply author: IC RE 1629
Replied on: 01/09/2008 09:19:54 AM
Message:

There is no tolerance for anyone who doesn't follow safety procedures at a railroad crossing. Whether your a school bus driver, regular motorist, or pedestrian, you need to follow basic safety rules when near railroad tracks. When you fail to use caution and follow procedures, serious injury and often times death can result. Taking a few extra seconds to check and open your door could save your life or the lives of others. Trains are fast, powerful, and deadly. Also keep in mind that trains can be very quiet too.


Reply author: disp29
Replied on: 01/09/2008 09:28:26 AM
Message:

Not in PA... You can hear ConRail coming on the other side of the River! Which means from my lot... I have 5 minutes to clear the tracks in town from that point, or else I'm gonna be late!

Seriously though, not stopping at a Railroad crossing in a School Bus is HIGHLY illegal, whether you are loaded or not. I just didn't know to what extent someone who gets caught (by the Po-Po... not the train)would get their "paddeys smacked". Obviously if you get caught by the Train before the Law... a paddey smacking is the least of your worries.


Reply author: mat541mp
Replied on: 01/09/2008 09:42:22 AM
Message:

If you look at the actual written law in most states...it says you must stop and be sure the tracks are clear before proceding. Although you are *supposed* to open the door...it's not in itself illegal not to...or at least that's what it looks like according to the law.
According to NY vehcile and traffic law:
shall stop such
vehicle within fifty feet but not less than fifteen feet from the
nearest rail of such railroad and while so stopped shall listen and look
in both directions along such track for any approaching train, and for
signals indicating the approach of a train, except as hereinafter
provided, and shall not proceed until he can do so safely.


And than yes, according to the federal rules, you must have your cdl suspended if you fail to stop at the tracks when required.
Oh and in NY you must stop regardless if you are empty or not...but I believe in some states you don't have to stop if it's just you driving empty.
Someone please correct me if any of this is wrong.

mat


Reply author: mrwaibel
Replied on: 01/09/2008 12:27:04 PM
Message:

That safety feature on the door can be over rode by disconnecting or bypassing the speed sensor and you will then be able to open the door when ever you want that way you can open it a couple seconds before you come to a complete stop to save time. I dont like to be stopped longer than absolutely necessary at crossings because you run the chance of getting rear ended the longer you sit, it also disrupts the normal flow of traffic waiting for the door to open after comming to a complete stop.


Reply author: coolbusguy
Replied on: 01/09/2008 12:35:58 PM
Message:

anytime is train time , I drive in a large city and we have numerous tracks , we only have to stop for uncontrolled crossings (cross buck with no lights or gate) , and all of our buses state "this vehicle stops for all uncontrolled railway crossings"I don't see the hassle , we're paid to drive , we enjoy driving , we do it with pride and this is where we as professionals get to demonstrate to all other motorists out there just how professional we can be,sadly some chose to show how dumb they can be.

and for those who get flustered by an active track heres one you'll love!
On my route I have a ground level crossing with cross buck that clearly has a sign posted "operational May-Oct" because its only used for the historical railway society (summer use only)and even when its out of season and no trains running on this 3 mile local track , im still stopping for it , as the law states "all school buses will come to a complete stop , look ..listen and look again before proceeding" ties up traffic big time in the big city and causes many motorists to honk and wave but its better stopped then dead stopped by a train right? when the spot light of the public eye is on you , shine shine shine :)


Reply author: Bus Boy 39
Replied on: 01/09/2008 2:13:45 PM
Message:

What happened to putting the bus in Neutral and setting the parking brake??


Reply author: vabuslover
Replied on: 01/09/2008 2:41:30 PM
Message:

That was required at railroad crossings? I have never seen any driver change to neutral and apply parking brake at a train crossing, unless they are waiting for a train to pass. Traffic would be held up way too long IMO if you set parking brake and all those things.


Reply author: Bus Boy 39
Replied on: 01/09/2008 4:23:08 PM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by vabuslover

That was required at railroad crossings? I have never seen any driver change to neutral and apply parking brake at a train crossing, unless they are waiting for a train to pass. Traffic would be held up way too long IMO if you set parking brake and all those things.



In PA it IS required at every crossing; train or no train.


Reply author: 2006.AAFE.#21
Replied on: 01/09/2008 5:01:09 PM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by vabuslover

That was required at railroad crossings? I have never seen any driver change to neutral and apply parking brake at a train crossing, unless they are waiting for a train to pass. Traffic would be held up way too long IMO if you set parking brake and all those things.



In Ohio, that is what ALL buses have to do, loaded or not, like PA. It really isn't held up that long, 20 seconds, if that. Safety should be first, no matter what. Also, in Ohio, we do not have to stop at crossings marked "EXEMPT."


Reply author: BBInt.10
Replied on: 01/09/2008 6:17:49 PM
Message:

Every state has different laws regarding railroad crossings. Some states laws make more sense than others. I think the law is pretty wacked here in CT regarding the RR crossings. We're supposed to activate hazards about 100' before the track, kill all noisemaking devices, stop 15-50 feet from track, shift into neutral, open the door and driver's window, look and listen, close door, shift into first gear, proceed across the tracks, and when across the tracks fully, then shift into drive and turn off hazards.

I don't feel that shifting into neutral accomplishes anything. Setting the parking brake would make more sense since in the case of getting rear-ended. Shifting into first just slows you down as you cross the tracks... wouldn't it make more sense to get quickly across the tracks? We don't have manual transmissions anymore and you're not going to stall out shifting with an automatic.

As to the IC question... starting the doors opening before you're completely stopped... on my '05 IC, I routinely start the doors opening before I'm at a complete stop when making a bus stop. I think if you're going under 2 mph or something, it will work... it does with mine anyway. But much faster than this and you hear that beep and it cancels your warning lights.


Reply author: 78fordwayne
Replied on: 01/09/2008 6:59:16 PM
Message:

Illinois law :
Activate 4 ways around 200 feet
Stop 15 - 50 feet before first track
Put parking brake on
Put shifter in nutral
Open door
Look right , left , right again
Close door
Put shifter in 1st
Release parking brake
Once over tracks move shifter slowly up back to drive
Turn off 4 ways once up to speed


Reply author: NathanW
Replied on: 01/09/2008 7:10:41 PM
Message:

This is what New Hampshire has...

---------------------------------
265:50 Certain Vehicles Must Stop at all Railroad Grade Crossings.
I. The driver of any vehicle carrying passengers for hire, or of any school bus carrying any school child, or of any vehicle carrying explosive substances, before crossing at grade any track or tracks of a railroad, shall stop such vehicle within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail of such railroad and while so stopped shall listen and look in both directions along such track for any approaching train, and for signals indicating the approach of a train, except as hereinafter provided, and shall not proceed until he can do so safely. After stopping as required herein and upon proceeding when it is safe to do so the driver of any said vehicle shall cross only in such gear of the vehicle that there will be no necessity for changing gears while traversing such crossing and the driver shall not shift gears while crossing the track or tracks.
II. No stop need be made at any such crossing when a police officer or a traffic control signal directs traffic to proceed, or by vehicles engaged in the common or contract carriage of passengers for hire, or school buses transporting school students, when such vehicles or buses are exempt by order of the commissioner of transportation.
---------------------------

I work for First Student and they expect you to place the bus in nuetral and set the parking brake while stopped.


Reply author: NathanW
Replied on: 01/09/2008 7:20:40 PM
Message:

I found some more for New Hampshire...
--------------------------
Saf-C 1306.09 Railroad Grade Crossing Procedure.



(a) Pursuant to RSA 265:50, I and II, each school bus driver shall stop at all railroad grade crossings.



(b) Each school bus driver shall complete the following at each railroad grade crossing:



(1) Activate the 4-way hazard lights at least 150 feet from the railroad grade crossing;



(2) Move as far to the right of the road as practical in the desired lane of travel;



(3) Turn off the master switch;



(4) Completely stop the bus at least 15 feet, but no more than 50 feet, from the nearest rail;



(5) Open the entrance door and the driver's window to look in both directions for approaching trains;



(6) Shut off noisy equipment, instruct passengers to be quiet and listen for an approaching train;



(7) When it is safe to do so, close the entrance door, put the bus in appropriate gear and proceed across the tracks without shifting gears; and



(8) After the rear of the bus has cleared the tracks, turn off the 4-way hazard lights and turn on the master switch.



(c) Prior to permitting a new or substitute driver to drive a school bus, each employer shall notify the new or substitute driver of:



(1) The procedures set forth in (a) and (b) above; and



(2) Any characteristics of railroad grade crossings unique to the particular school bus route.



Source. #4873, eff 07-24-90; ss by #6297, eff 7-23-96; ss by #8122, INTERIM, eff 7-17-04, EXPIRES: 1-13-05; ss and moved by #8248, eff 1-4-05 (from Saf-C 1316.09)


Reply author: Terrance
Replied on: 01/09/2008 9:26:51 PM
Message:

O.k. So with the new ic's my question is now which do you prefer the control on the steerin wheel or the handles on the side to your left. Even though I dont drive people tell me that they prfer the handle or control that you have to turn to the open or close position they fell like they have more control do you agree?


Reply author: disp29
Replied on: 01/09/2008 10:22:44 PM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by Terrance

O.k. So with the new ic's my question is now which do you prefer the control on the steerin wheel or the handles on the side to your left. Even though I dont drive people tell me that they prfer the handle or control that you have to turn to the open or close position they fell like they have more control do you agree?



The IC CE's at Sharitz have the steering wheel controls; the IC CE's at what WILL be Academy School Solutions have both wheel controls and toggle switches for the Warning Light activation and the Air Door. They dont have the 3-point switch that you are referring to, just the standard rocker-switch like the rest.


Reply author: NWCROWN
Replied on: 01/09/2008 11:01:03 PM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by 2006.AAFE.#21

quote:
Originally posted by vabuslover

That was required at railroad crossings? I have never seen any driver change to neutral and apply parking brake at a train crossing, unless they are waiting for a train to pass. Traffic would be held up way too long IMO if you set parking brake and all those things.



In Ohio, that is what ALL buses have to do, loaded or not, like PA. It really isn't held up that long, 20 seconds, if that. Safety should be first, no matter what.



Many years ago in Ohio (early 80s), we had a bus driver for part of one year who would:

1. Stop at railroad crossings where the tracks had been PAVED COMPLETELY OVER several years prior.

2. At said railroad tracks, not only set the parking brake, but would shut off the engine. At the time our bus was a Dodge Superior with gas engine, and no diesels were in the fleet at the time.


Reply author: disp29
Replied on: 01/10/2008 03:55:12 AM
Message:

The only RR tracks in PA that you are not REQUIRED to stop at are ones that are marked "EXEMPT" (ex. not used anymore). We have to do the whole "activate your 4-ways, shift into Neutral thing", but I honestly forget what the law says verbatim. I will look and post it on here, unless someone beats me to it.


Reply author: BBInt.10
Replied on: 01/10/2008 3:10:55 PM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by Terrance

O.k. So with the new ic's my question is now which do you prefer the control on the steerin wheel or the handles on the side to your left. Even though I dont drive people tell me that they prfer the handle or control that you have to turn to the open or close position they fell like they have more control do you agree?



I prefer the steering wheel button hands-down. We had those white toggle-type switches on the Amtran RE's where I used to work and more than once, the thing fell apart in my hand while I was trying to open the door. I found them awkward to use and inconvenient. How can you beat having the door open button at your fingertips? I think that most the people who rank on IC's steering wheel buttons haven't given them a chance. Yes, the early ones weren't heavy duty enough, but since I've had the replacement buttons put in my bus they've been flawless.


Reply author: Bus Boy 39
Replied on: 01/10/2008 4:15:23 PM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by disp29

The only RR tracks in PA that you are not REQUIRED to stop at are ones that are marked "EXEMPT" (ex. not used anymore). We have to do the whole "activate your 4-ways, shift into Neutral thing", but I honestly forget what the law says verbatim. I will look and post it on here, unless someone beats me to it.



You're not required to stop at a RR crossing controlled by a traffic light.


Reply author: disp29
Replied on: 01/10/2008 9:14:08 PM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by Bus Boy 39

quote:
Originally posted by disp29

The only RR tracks in PA that you are not REQUIRED to stop at are ones that are marked "EXEMPT" (ex. not used anymore). We have to do the whole "activate your 4-ways, shift into Neutral thing", but I honestly forget what the law says verbatim. I will look and post it on here, unless someone beats me to it.



You're not required to stop at a RR crossing controlled by a traffic light.



... I've never come across one yet out in my portion of "Pennsyltucky"... but Yes... I would assume so, anyway. The law's the law whether there is a traffic light there or not.


Reply author: bus724
Replied on: 01/11/2008 07:39:41 AM
Message:

As for the whole by-the-book procedure here in CT, you're supposed to turn off all "noisemakers" when approaching the crossing. One of our drivers brought up a valid issue that I never heard the result of...apparently windshield wipers are considered "noisesmakers" (and our trainer believes leaving them on during a DMV test will result in a failure. But before proceeding, you have to make sure you have two bus lengths' clear on the other side of the tracks. If it's raining or snowing, how are you supposed to do this with the wipers off?


Reply author: thomas86_a
Replied on: 01/11/2008 5:16:07 PM
Message:

Wipers off is ridiculous!


Reply author: Salaskie
Replied on: 01/11/2008 5:24:32 PM
Message:

Wiper's off = lack of visibility (look & listen). If your wipers are a noisemaker, our wonderful technicians/mechanics will take care of them...if you let them know :-)


Reply author: Salaskie
Replied on: 01/11/2008 5:27:50 PM
Message:

quote:
That safety feature on the door can be over rode by disconnecting or bypassing the speed sensor and you will then be able to open the door when ever you want that way you can open it a couple seconds before you come to a complete stop to save time.

You're joking, right???


Reply author: 78fordwayne
Replied on: 01/11/2008 5:57:36 PM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by Salaskie

quote:
That safety feature on the door can be over rode by disconnecting or bypassing the speed sensor and you will then be able to open the door when ever you want that way you can open it a couple seconds before you come to a complete stop to save time.

You're joking, right???


Or just drive with it open for a nice breeze


Reply author: Salaskie
Replied on: 01/11/2008 6:06:45 PM
Message:

Sounds like a 'down south' procedure


Reply author: bus724
Replied on: 01/11/2008 6:41:40 PM
Message:

Glad I'm not the only one who disagrees with the wipers. When I heard that, it got me wondering...does DMV consider the engine a "noisemaker"?


Reply author: Bus Boy 39
Replied on: 01/12/2008 10:38:58 AM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by disp29

quote:
Originally posted by Bus Boy 39

quote:
Originally posted by disp29

The only RR tracks in PA that you are not REQUIRED to stop at are ones that are marked "EXEMPT" (ex. not used anymore). We have to do the whole "activate your 4-ways, shift into Neutral thing", but I honestly forget what the law says verbatim. I will look and post it on here, unless someone beats me to it.



You're not required to stop at a RR crossing controlled by a traffic light.



... I've never come across one yet out in my portion of "Pennsyltucky"... but Yes... I would assume so, anyway. The law's the law whether there is a traffic light there or not.



I'm a PA state certified trainer, and no, if a rail road crossing is controlled by a stop light, you do not have to stop. It's in the book!!


Reply author: disp29
Replied on: 01/13/2008 12:13:54 AM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by Bus Boy 39

quote:
Originally posted by disp29

quote:
Originally posted by Bus Boy 39

quote:
Originally posted by disp29

The only RR tracks in PA that you are not REQUIRED to stop at are ones that are marked "EXEMPT" (ex. not used anymore). We have to do the whole "activate your 4-ways, shift into Neutral thing", but I honestly forget what the law says verbatim. I will look and post it on here, unless someone beats me to it.



You're not required to stop at a RR crossing controlled by a traffic light.



... I've never come across one yet out in my portion of "Pennsyltucky"... but Yes... I would assume so, anyway. The law's the law whether there is a traffic light there or not.



I'm a PA state certified trainer, and no, if a rail road crossing is controlled by a stop light, you do not have to stop. It's in the book!!



I wasn't questioning your knowledge, I was making a statement that I've YET to come across one in my driving experience. We don't have them where I am, and if we do, I haven't come across one. I'm a PA certified Trainer, as well. However, at the time I didn't remember the specifics of that law and I really didn't feel like driving to the Office to pull my book out from it's hibernating spot. No need to get a 'tude, dude!


Reply author: bus724
Replied on: 01/13/2008 07:50:13 AM
Message:

Anyone know if CT has an exception for crossings controlled by a light? There's an alternate route to get on I-395 for us that I use in my car but avoid in a bus because it involes a railroad crossing at an intersection that I'm not comfortable doing with the timing of the light. I always assumed that you have to stop regardless, but if we're legally allowed to trust the light it would be much easier.

Also, does anyone know if MA has the same exception?


Reply author: B. Busguy33
Replied on: 01/13/2008 4:06:46 PM
Message:

quote:
Also, does anyone know if MA has the same exception?


To my knowledge, MA school bus drivers must stop at RR Xings if they are located at an intersection controlled by a traffic light.


Reply author: mrwaibel
Replied on: 01/20/2008 8:47:42 PM
Message:

whats wrong with over ridding the speed sensor on the entry door its not a law that it has to be on their. So far IC is the only bus manufacturer that has it besides you can open a manual door when ever you need to why shouldn't you be able to do the same on an electric or an air door.


Reply author: B. Busguy33
Replied on: 01/22/2008 11:15:28 AM
Message:

quote:
whats wrong with over ridding the speed sensor on the entry door its not a law that it has to be on their. So far IC is the only bus manufacturer that has it besides you can open a manual door when ever you need to why shouldn't you be able to do the same on an electric or an air door.


The "speed sensor" on the entrance doors of the ICs should be a non-issue, since your bus should be COMPLETELY stopped before opening/closing the entrance door to begin with!


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