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news
Top Member

Canada
2951 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2008 :  1:59:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Courier News, IL - January 19, 2008

GILBERTS -- A Community Unit School District 300 bus driver who was charged with disobeying a railroad crossing signal Jan. 9 was charged Friday with child endangerment and has since been fired from his job, according to a district spokeswoman.

full story

JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2008 :  4:29:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
From the story: Rood saw Gorder stop before the tracks on Big Timber Road near Tyrrell Road with the bus' lights flashing and door open, then proceed across the tracks as the railroad signal lights began flashing. Rood said the railroad crossing gates "just missed the school bus." ... "The school district did not make the decision on this, Durham did and the school district was very pleased with the decision," Smith said. "We're pleased that Durham knew to take such a charge very seriously."

Pleased about what? That bus driver stopped the bus, did the check ... and then, "Go!" Once you're in that [Go!] mode you do not attempt to stop the bus risking ending up stopped on the tracks with a blasted train coming.

Have had this same thing happen many years ago at a crossing where visibility was somewhat obscured.

Correction
I'd tried stopping back 50 feet, the maximum allowed by law, then performing the check, then proceeding slowly noting a third visual check while approaching the tracks. That may work fine on certain tracks, but created too much hesitation in my case at that specific crossing.

The agreed management decision was stop 15-20 feet, perform the check, then GO!!!

As luck would have it, one day just as I began moving the signal went off and I kept going. No complaints from management after reporting the incident - did the right thing in my case.

The fact that the gates did not strike the bus is a good indicator the bus was in Go! mode.

Incredible, the behavior of that school and provider concerning this event. Fire the bus driver! ... Fire the bus driver! ... Fire the bus driver! seems to have replaced The sky is falling!.

Would 'The Cop Who Cried Wolf' made a better story?

When stopped 15-20 feet back from the first track, performing the check, then [Go!] mode is the norm. Not stopping is less dangerous than suddenly attempting to stop the bus once in that [Go!] mode.

The level of school and management (cya) and resulting school bus driver maltreatment is becoming astonishing.

With all that has been presented in the press lately I would think it is becoming increasingly possible for more in these forums to understand the reason that there really is no school bus driver shortage and probably never was. (jk)

The functional employer hires school bus drivers - The dysfunctional employer hires scapegoats.

Ten Things That Bad Managers Do, by Cyndi Maxey, CSP

FREE School Bus Safety Ads & Photo Library
Post Check, Hostage Takeover, Bus Fire and special effects photos now available Free to use at websites, in newsletters, memos, the local press, letters to parents and more. This is a very popular Website. If you can't get in bookmark the page and try again later.



There is no school bus driver shortage!
Properly train, effective support and pay that retains.

Edited by - JK on 01/20/2008 8:07:31 PM
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william
Top Member

USA
1912 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2008 :  8:23:42 PM  Show Profile  Click to see william's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
"Pleased about what?"
(jk)

"We're pleased that Durham knew to take such a charge very seriously."
(Allison Smith, a spokeswoman for the district.)

If he proceeded across the tracks as the lights started flashing as is reported, there is the chance that he did not see the train approaching. If he saw that train approaching, yet drove across the tracks, even if the lights had not begun to flash, he is an idiot and should be fired.

I don't know his side of the story but he did right to continue if he was on the tracks. If his vision was obscured, I would think that would be all the more reason to exercise due caution and diligence. But in every state you must stop when the red lights begin to flash. If he saw the red lights start to flash as he started to move and assuming that he was at the minimum distance of 15 feet, he should have still been able to stop well short of the tracks.

Approaching trains viewed from a crossing produce the illusion of great distance because the parallel lines of the rail converge toward the horizon. The apparent convergence of the rails gives us the impression that the train is further from the crossing than it really is. In addition, the apparent size of the approaching train changes very slowly. This leads drivers to assume it is not only far away but moving slowly — a deceptive and dangerous combination of illusions.

Although we don't know the full story, I suppose we can charge the company and the police with maltreatment if we like. Perhaps the memory of the seven children killed in the Fox River Grove incident of October 25, 1995, still haunts the state of IL.

"I'd tried stopping back 50 or 75 feet, the maximum allowed by law..."
(jk)

Page 10-7 of the Oregon Commercial Driver's Handbook states that school buses are to stop no closer than 15 feet nor farther than 50 feet from the nearest rail. Has there been a change in recent years?





William
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80-RE4
Top Member

USA
5700 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2008 :  9:58:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rood saw Gorder

stop before the tracks (Bus stops)

bus' lights flashing and door open, then proceed across the tracks (tracks clear)

as the railroad signal lights began flashing (bus going over tracks, lights come on/gates come down)


. Rood said the railroad crossing gates "just missed the school bus."

<Looks like the driver did everything he was supposed to do and Durham and the police officer are acting like heros>

<Looks like the driver has a legal case against the police officer and Durham, if the writing in the story is correct>



If it was stated that the driver started over the tracks while the lights were flashing, different story. So, if you begin to cross the tracks, and the lights start to flash, what are you supposed to do? In this story, it seems as if the driver was screwed anyway.

I'm sure his intentions were to put the children in harms way...he just doesn't care about children, probably wanted to get hit by train, probably doesn't have any children or grandchildren and probably is an idiot.

Let's try to think of what was going through his mind. "67 year old driver: Hmmm I am stopping at the tracks, looks clear, open my door, perform my required RR procedure, Oooops, the lights are flashing, let me try to beat that train because I just don't care"......(I highly doubt that.) I just think the police officer was an ass and Durham- don't know how many drivers have been fired from that company, locally I would say 20 over the past year.

I believe Durham is a hostile company at least in MA, they are.

Bus drivers are dumb aren't we?

Edited by - 80-RE4 on 01/19/2008 10:01:56 PM
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william
Top Member

USA
1912 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2008 :  10:36:56 PM  Show Profile  Click to see william's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
"cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! If you can read this, your brain is 50% faster than those who can't"
(80-RE4)

You know, until I actually read the above, 80-RE4, I thought it was just gibberish and wondered why you were posting it at all. Hey thanks. I can use that in my classes.

William
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2008 :  04:58:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes, my 50 - *75 feet is incorrect. Thank you for catching that. 15-50 sounds the correct distance. Too tired to make absolutly certain by checking the manual. (*Note: I looked it up and noticed my notes: My request back then was to stop 75 feet from the tracks in the center turn lane of the highway, perform my checks with 1,000 feet or more of rail visibilty both directions, then proceed over the tracks. The tail of the bus can extend up to two feet into the highway at that RR stop. The previous answer was go ahead and stop within the danger zone of the rails, which I disputed.)

If he saw the red lights start to flash as he started to move and assuming that he was at the minimum distance of 15 feet, he should have still been able to stop well short of the tracks.

Does not seem the same situation as Fox River Grove

Impossible call. Once that bus is beginning to move after [Go!] mode, it can take several to 12 feet, depending, to stop it after providing plenty of fuel to move that heavy object. These newer buses in low range can respond better than before. But even older buses with good trannies can be quick.

The signal device did not strike that bus, which indicates to me that the bus was in motion when the signal activated.

The foot is on the gas - the driver, a human that processes information in serial fashion, must first recognize a train is coming or hear the signal device, discern what that means, react to move the foot from the accelerator to the brake, apply the brake, and the air brake system respond. Takes time.

Are you suggesting creeping across tracks? If then a train is spotted to be forced to stop on the tracks or otherwise within the danger zone of the train? Now what? Back up?

Even if the bus driver stops, and the signal device then strikes the front area of the bus. What happens to that bus driver now?

I didn't find anything in the story sufficiant that could present that the bus driver reacted to the crossing signal as the specific reason to race the tracks. Was that the actual case than I could understand termination.

Of course it would look like the bus driver decided to speed over the tracks, because he probably did. What I am suggesting is that would be exactly what he was supposed to do when already in motion, unless he could somehow determine the train was far away. Is that what bus drivers are supposed to do? Determine the distance a train is from the crossing?

Horrible situation to be in, and in my case even though the bus well cleared the tracks before the train arrived did not make it a fun event.

I've had plenty of events where I could see the train approaching before the signal activated -- remained stopped. And of course remained stopped or stopping when the signals activated on approach or while in the 'Look - Listen - Double check' mode. And after the check were it then that there was somehow time to stop would do so. And then what? back up if needed?

Forced on one occasion to back the bus up after the checks, just barely moving, deciding to stop when a train was noticed approaching after the checks. Lucky nothing was behind me. Took longer than one would think to back up when you were just beginning to move forward. Bad idea, in my opinion, unless just happen to notice the train before moving.

Street signals can trap the bus driver as well, but a different story here. Another tough call when you approach the sidewalk and suddenly the light turns yellow. Slam to a stop or proceed? The cops in our town said if they see the brake lights activate while drifting through the intersection, you pass. If accelerating - ticket.

Where a cop maintains that mentality for buses at RR crossings, there is more than a train producing an illusion in that cop's mind. (jk)

The functional employer hires school bus drivers - The dysfunctional employer hires scapegoats.

FREE School Bus Safety Ads & Photo Library
Post Check, Hostage Takeover, Bus Fire and special effects photos now available Free to use at websites, in newsletters, memos, the local press, letters to parents and more. This is a very popular Website. If you can't get in bookmark the page and try again later.



There is no school bus driver shortage!
Properly train, effective support and pay that retains.

Edited by - JK on 04/24/2008 6:54:38 PM
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80-RE4
Top Member

USA
5700 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2008 :  08:09:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by william

"cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! If you can read this, your brain is 50% faster than those who can't"
(80-RE4)

You know, until I actually read the above, 80-RE4, I thought it was just gibberish and wondered why you were posting it at all. Hey thanks. I can use that in my classes.




I received that in a "forward" email from one of my friends. Sometimes on the Internet and on this forum, I do not feel as if I need to spell or grammar check, just because I do it so often for formal papers, etc.

(Just as a side note, I have done a little more reading and it's not proven that only 50 % of people can read that, I think that was just added, but I'm not sure), so I've removed that part from my profile.

If you are interested, here are some links:

This is a link to the original source:
http://www.mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk/~mattd/Cmabrigde/


This link will allow you to do this:
http://www.stevesachs.com/jumbler.cgi

Hlleo Wliailm, how is the waeethr in Suoth Cfoilarina tadoy? Up hree in Mecshasttasus it is qutie clod. Hvae a ncie day.

Edited by - 80-RE4 on 01/20/2008 08:12:41 AM
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william
Top Member

USA
1912 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2008 :  7:33:07 PM  Show Profile  Click to see william's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
The weather here is fine, 80-RE4. The reason the Chargers could not get it together today was because you guys prayed for all that bad weather.

I really would like to hear the driver's side of this story.

William
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2008 :  7:49:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Interesting sidebar. This brain skill reference, "If you can read this, your brain is 50% faster than those who can't," shows up in this and other forums on occasion and in various chain emails. Versions of the the test show up in job qualification tests and is an average or perhaps a scientific guess from some neuroethics experts. The understanding I accept is that test does not relate to the intelligence of a person, but simply indicates decoding skill abilities/function of common words as part of battery of tests covering various brain functions. Although misspelled words may clutter a post and slow the reader down, as long as certain misspelling rules are maintained it usually does not much interfere. Not usually an issue in most forums, except sometimes from a few that use spelling and grammar sidebars to personalize against opposing views and when having nothing valid to argue against the poster's point. Don't mind misspellings myself - would be a hypocrite if I did. And can always choose to read something else.(jk)

Determine which side of your brain left or right is dominant
We all use both hemispheres of our brains to some degree but in most people one side dominates. To begin the test, please type in your first name in the box down the page aways and press Enter Determine which side of your brain left or right is dominant

Accused of losing your mind?
Free Online Memory Test from the Brain Fitness Channel
Click Here for source


The functional employer hires school bus drivers - The dysfunctional employer hires scapegoats.

FREE School Bus Safety Ads & Photo Library
Post Check, Hostage Takeover, Bus Fire and special effects photos now available Free to use at websites, in newsletters, memos, the local press, letters to parents and more. This is a very popular Website. If you can't get in bookmark the page and try again later.



There is no school bus driver shortage!
Properly train, effective support and pay that retains.


Edited by - JK on 01/20/2008 10:27:28 PM
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william
Top Member

USA
1912 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2008 :  11:33:38 PM  Show Profile  Click to see william's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Before we get too far afield, have there been any statements offered by the driver of this story?

William
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 04/24/2008 :  6:29:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Similar event and how it played out ...

Prosecutors drop charge against Hawley, Minn., school bus driver

Dave Olson
Apr 24 2008
The Forum

HAWLEY, Minn. - The Clay County Attorney’s Office plans to dismiss a charge it filed in February against David Duane Kronbeck, a Hawley, Minn., school bus driver who was accused of violating a statute that requires school buses to stop at railroad crossings.

Assistant Clay County Attorney Matthew Greenley said he came to the decision after discussions with Kronbeck and railroad employees.

Greenley said Kronbeck said he followed the law Jan. 18 when he stopped his bus carrying children at a rural railroad crossing.

Kronbeck told Greenley he looked both ways before proceeding, but crossing arms and lights activated just as he reached the tracks.

Rather than back up, Kronbeck drove on, Greenley said.

The crossing arms at the intersection are activated when trains are a quarter of a mile to half a mile away and Kronbeck did not see the train, Greenley said, adding he is satisfied Kronbeck is not guilty of the charge.

“I think that’s what the jury would believe,” Greenley added.

According to court documents, a Hawley School District official told the Clay County Sheriff’s Department earlier this year that Kronbeck was placed on leave pending the conclusion of the court matter.

Click Here for source. (Also posted in Breaking News as: Prosecutors drop charge against school bus driver)

FREE School Bus Safety Ads & Photo Library
Post Check, Hostage Takeover, Bus Fire, Danger Zones and special effects photos now available Free to use at websites, in newsletters, memos, the local press, letters to parents and more. This is a very popular Website. If you can't get in bookmark the page and try again later.



There is no school bus driver shortage!
Properly train, effective support and pay that retains.

Edited by - JK on 04/24/2008 7:40:31 PM
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80-RE4
Top Member

USA
5700 Posts

Posted - 04/24/2008 :  7:09:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Makes me wonder, if I'm at a railroad crossing and I've made sure everything was clear, and while I'm over the tracks, the lights start to come on and the gates start to come down, and someone sees it...are they going to think I didn't do my job? Should we have telephones in the bus so we can call the RR operators to see how far away they are from the crossings to make sure that while we are crossing, they aren't near?

It's sort of like being in the middle of an intersection when the light turns yellow. You had the green, and the light turns yellow while in the middle...were you supposed to know the yellow light was going to display?
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School Bus M8
Top Member

USA
617 Posts

Posted - 04/24/2008 :  8:58:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit School Bus M8's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This triggered a recollection of when I drove for First Student in Weymouth Ma. Approximetely around 2002 on my route there was this one road with a RR-Xing that was at an angle. Along with an angle the business adjacent to the tracks had a line of some very extreme and tall bushes abutting the train track area. It was very difficult to get a clear view of the tracks at a safe distance. Although I did the proper procedure with extreme caution everytime, I dreaded the thought of having to cross those tracks each and every day with my middle school and elementary run(2 different routes). I was always worried about the hunk of shi.....well hunk of yellow metal ever breaking down on the tracks and if for some strange reason I ever didn't get a clear, safe view.(i.e. fog, snow, bad weather) When and if I get a chance I may post a picture of the intersection to help explain the situation better.

Edited by - School Bus M8 on 04/25/2008 12:15:38 AM
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william
Top Member

USA
1912 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2008 :  11:57:11 AM  Show Profile  Click to see william's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
"The crossing arms at the intersection are activated when trains are a quarter of a mile to half a mile away and Kronbeck did not see the train, Greenley said, adding he is satisfied Kronbeck is not guilty of the charge".

That was my original thought in my first post to this thread.

William
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Sandra (Ennis) Nunn
Top Member

Canada
1180 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2008 :  12:36:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by william

"The crossing arms at the intersection are activated when trains are a quarter of a mile to half a mile away and Kronbeck did not see the train, Greenley said, adding he is satisfied Kronbeck is not guilty of the charge".

That was my original thought in my first post to this thread.

Hi William. I wanted to make note that the above quote is from a similar story from Hawley, Minnesota and doesn't refer to the original story from Gilberts, Illinois. In case anyone is confused.

Sandy
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IrishMike
Active Member

United States
31 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2008 :  3:20:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, FWIW If I had started to move{after having done the proper checks} and the lights/gates/whatever came on, I am NOT stoping. This very thing was brought up in one of our clases.The director of transportation asked me and a police officer in the class..." you have stoped at a RR crossing and have done the proper proceidure to cross and after having started to move the lights come on, WHAT DO YOU DO???"...My response was ..." I continue on and take any thing in my path with me untill I have the bus a safe distance from the track"... The officer looked at me as if I had lost my mind. The Director stated ..."100% correct, DO NOT STOP after begining to move as you could stall or be caught on the tracks"...
I happen to agree and we or should I say no one can judge about the drivers actions untill you have all the evidence. If the arms did not hit the bus, then it must have already been moving. That is based on RR-crossings in my state, Ky.

KY. School bus driver
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william
Top Member

USA
1912 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2008 :  4:04:11 PM  Show Profile  Click to see william's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Thanks Sandy. I was zigging when I should have zagged.

William
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Sandra (Ennis) Nunn
Top Member

Canada
1180 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2008 :  6:11:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by william

Thanks Sandy. I was zigging when I should have zagged.

No problem William. The original link to the story is no longer working, but WBBM-AM, IL repeats the January 19, 2008 story from The Courier News in the following link:

School Bus Driver, Facing Child Endangerment Charges, Fired

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