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 Child killed when 8-ways not working
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2324 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2009 :  2:13:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
http://www.schoolbusfleet.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=19860

This is a post on another area on SBFM forums, but if you are like me I hardly ever go out to the other areas of the forum. I like it here among the other gunts that work on these old things.

That being said we NEED to read this. It makes a person stand up and re-evaluate what we are doing. I am the only one that takes care of 17 buses in our fleet. I have to read these things to keep my work up to par or I might get lazy. There is no one else around to tell me to do it correctly. I don't want to be in the situation this guy has found himself in.

Everyone, if you pray please pray for this guy!! He is going to need it.

Don't forget to pray for the family of the child as well. What a tragic loss. I have a 6 year old boy myself. I don't know what would happen to me if I lost him.

Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3345 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2009 :  4:16:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for reposting this bwest.

This is beyond my comprehension. We have so many failures in this story.
*Failure to perform a proper pre-trip (assuming the lights didn't fail while on the road).
*Failure of the bus driver to recognize the seriousness of the light failure and continuing her route with an unsafe bus.
*Failure of the 'bus shed' to recognize the seriousness and allowing the bus to continue.
*Failure of supervisor monitoriing radio (if applicable) to step in.
*Failure of the bus driver to use her brain when the child was struck and leving the scene.
*Failure of the 'bus shed' to use common sense and NOT work on the bus after the fact(assuming they knew of the accident).

The peices are going to fall, and fall hard on all those involved.
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BlueBird44
Top Member

USA
1639 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2009 :  5:06:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It is important for bus drivers to check their lights. I know at everystop I constantly check my light monitor a million times. Everytime when I stop at a stop before I cross I child a glance up to make sure my reds are working. I also glance up to make sure my yellow are working once I activate them. I feel that light monitor is there to tell me if something has gone wrong so you better use it. I can't stand it when I see fellow drivers out there with lights out turn signals, brake lights, and when you tell them it's out I didn't know. Well if you would just look at it and do a pre-trip you WOULD. I understand if the brake light or turn signal goes out mid-route which has happened to me but if anyone says anything to me I tell them it just went out and I am going to get it fixed and thanks.


IC-The Golden Shield of School Transportation
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wright11
Senior Member

Canada
159 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2009 :  05:56:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
hi guys, i think this will open all our eyes, we cannot make any mistakes!!!!!

I'D WOULD RATHER BE CUMMIN THAN STROKIN ! ! ! !
I.C no future!!
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2179 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2009 :  07:28:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by wright11

hi guys, i think this will open all our eyes, we cannot make any mistakes!!!!!



I agree totally. It's sad the kid got killed because of the inop lights. The cover-up is even worse. If the 8ways stop in the middle of the route, the bus should be stopped and a spare brought in.

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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wright11
Senior Member

Canada
159 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2009 :  07:39:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
isn't that the reason we have SPARE BUSES!!!!!

I'D WOULD RATHER BE CUMMIN THAN STROKIN ! ! ! !
I.C no future!!
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3345 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2009 :  2:51:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A neighboring school system enacted a policy about 6 years ago that I admit to thinking was totaly stupid at the time...if you lose JUST ONE of your 8-way lights (stop sign NOT included), then you stop and call for a spare. Maybe that isn't such a bad idea.
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2009 :  12:11:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I do not trust the so-called fail-safe crossing lights. We've found loose wires on new buses interfering with the crossing lights. One caught fire and would have burned my bus to the ground had it not been for a master power switch installed outside the bus. I check em' and keep checking em' whenever activated. I've observed the device shut off when the door is opened, shut off when kids are crossing, and refuse to shut off after closing the door. I've had both the yellows and reds flashing at the same time, the stop sign activating and deactivating like it's possessed - all sorts of weird happenings over the years. Any time I'm not checking when activating this device is when it is most likely to fail. So I try to check them continuously as part of my bus stop routine. (jk)

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There is no school bus driver shortage!
Properly train, effective support and pay that retains.
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bus724
Top Member

USA
1609 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2009 :  2:51:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit bus724's Homepage  Send bus724 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
My post from the other thread, since it seems the discussion is over here now:

I have some questions, maybe I'm missing something in the articles.

First, why is the driver of the car not being charged with anything? I can understand not charging with passing the bus, but I thought pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way. Wouldn't this at least be a vehicular manslaughter charge?

Second, is there a legal requirement for crossing students to wait for a signal in TN? Here in CT we're required by law to instruct students to wait for the bus driver's signal before crossing (a nod of the head). I'm aware of similar laws in other states, with variations on the actual safe-to-cross signal. I have 4 year old pre-schoolers who learned this rule in less than a week with constant verbal reminders from the driver and parents.

I'm also curious about a few details that seem to be missing from the news articles. The bus driver is being charged with leaving the scene...did she actually drive around the struck student and finish her route? Call it in and then take off? Was the driver watching traffic front and rear and alert enough to at least blow the horn?

If the information reported is accurate, I find it extremely hard to believe that a person capable of passing the minimum CDL requirements could show such poor judgement. Even companies/districts with the worst training and hiring standards teach their "sheep" better than this.
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2324 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2009 :  8:08:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am no athority on crossings on busy streets and hyways because most of our roads are rural with little traffic. That being said, our drivers are well aware that the stops on busy hwys are to be monitored closly. They know that they should be instructing these students about watching for traffic and the driver's signal. This dicussion scares me to death and you can bet that my drivers will be reminded of this possible tragity at ANY stop. We (I) take for granted the lesser traveled roads, but I can see this happening out there as well.

To my knowledge there is not a law in Illinois that requires the student to wait for a signal. It is covered in the study material for new drivers and in the refresher courses, but a law specifically addressing this is not out there (again, to my knowledge).

Bryan
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mat541mp
Senior Member

USA
61 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2009 :  08:34:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bus724

My post from the other thread, since it seems the discussion is over here now:

I have some questions, maybe I'm missing something in the articles.

First, why is the driver of the car not being charged with anything? I can understand not charging with passing the bus, but I thought pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way. Wouldn't this at least be a vehicular manslaughter charge?




I just want to add this in if I may. I would just like to clarify since for some reason many people have the mistaken belief that pedestrians always have the right of way, even in the middle of a 55 mph road. Although I do not know what Illinois law is in regards to this, in many states, including New York, Pedestrians must yield the right of way to any vehicle upon the roadway when not crossing in a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Pedestrians do not always have the right of way, they only do so at marked or unmarked crosswalks. Of course NY state law also says that drivers must take due care and extra caution to avoid hitting a pedestrian. I know this case is different because it involves a bus, but I just wanted to point that out.

matp541mp
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Harrison Fire
Senior Member

United States
175 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2009 :  6:17:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wolf0r

quote:
Originally posted by wright11

hi guys, i think this will open all our eyes, we cannot make any mistakes!!!!!



I agree totally. It's sad the kid got killed because of the inop lights. The cover-up is even worse. If the 8ways stop in the middle of the route, the bus should be stopped and a spare brought in.


I agree with you guys.
Stop Picking Up Students. No matter what the driver says or wants.
Around here the closest Bus Drivers (if at all possible) volunteer to collect all students for a disabled School Bus.
HF
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2324 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2009 :  08:52:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That is a great point Harrison, our drivers do the same thing if another driver has any sort of trouble. Weather it be winter weather or mechanical problems the closest ones get on the radio and voulenteer to pick up the rest of their students.

Bryan
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ltrain2001
Senior Member

139 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2009 :  8:47:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One time when I was traveling behind a Wayne Int 3700 on my way home from work they were making a stop and it had a problem with the 8ways, and the driver put their 4ways on and laid the bus across both lanes of the road to block the traffic & let the student off the bus. I am not sure if they called for a spare or not, but that is how I've seen it done.
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2324 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2009 :  8:30:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That is still not the way it is supose to be done. If anything were to happen to the child, the driver would be in the wrong.

Now this is not to say that this has not been done many times on an old county road. But can you imagine doing this on a busy highway?

Bryan
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3345 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2009 :  5:38:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dear Lord I hope SOMEBODY down there could fix an 8-way system. If not, they have bigger problems.
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2324 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2009 :  8:34:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yea, there should be no reason that the 8-way system could not be fixed. For heaven sakes you could feasably replace every item on it including the wiring. Well, maybe not the wiring on these newer style systems.

Bryan
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bus724
Top Member

USA
1609 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2009 :  10:24:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit bus724's Homepage  Send bus724 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Considering the mechanics are being charged with evidence tampering for fixing the lights, it's obvious the bus is repairable.
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thomas86_a
Top Member

USA
4407 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2009 :  1:27:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit thomas86_a's Homepage  Send thomas86_a an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Did the mechanics have the lights operating normal again by the time the police arrived?

If you have an International, you NEED customer service.
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bus724
Top Member

USA
1609 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2009 :  4:11:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit bus724's Homepage  Send bus724 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Investigators said when they looked at the bus a short time later, the lights were working.

Three other Warren County school employees who work in the repair shop are also facing indictments for tampering with evidence. Investigators believe bus foreman Grant Craven and mechanics Greg Pope and Tommy Davenport may have fixed the problem before investigators arrived.
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thomas86_a
Top Member

USA
4407 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2009 :  7:39:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit thomas86_a's Homepage  Send thomas86_a an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I guess I should have re-read the article before asking that.

So we have lost a child because of a bad judgment call on the part of the driver. It's not like the lights quit working during that particular cycle, the driver knew of the incident and continued on route. I've seen buses where the driver forgot to start the warning light cycle and didn't realize it until cars were passing the bus. This is an honest mistake that is an accident. What happened in this case was no accident.

I've seen stickers in some buses that read: "You are responsible for the safe operation of this vehicle" That basically sums it all up, don't drive the damn bus if it isn't safe to transport students.

If you have an International, you NEED customer service.
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bus724
Top Member

USA
1609 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2009 :  07:07:35 AM  Show Profile  Visit bus724's Homepage  Send bus724 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I had to read through all 3 to find that quote. I just think the statement "the bus should be blacked out and sold off" was a little extreme in this case.
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2179 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2009 :  1:54:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just informed our drivers that they must park the bus and call for a temp. No Matter What! Most of them knew this already and have no problem with it.

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3345 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2009 :  3:18:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Do you mean a total failure or failure of any one of the system's lights?
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Harrison Fire
Senior Member

United States
175 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2009 :  1:38:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The black Weldon flasher on a newer FS-65 has a high failure rate around here. I keep 2 on hand. When they fail the flasher warms up and a circuit opens up inside. No ambers (or reds) on one side, front to back. Add a second open circuit and you could have no reds at all.
And the majority of these flashers have began working again after cooling down.
Does anyone know what brand of bus was involved in this fiasco?
I for one hope that the Mechanics were innocent.
HF



My Fleet? (6) 93/99 IH 3800 Thomas and Blue Bird, Hydraulic Brakes, Manual and Auto Trans, (10) 00/06 FS65 Thomas Air Brake and Auto Trans, (2) 06 C2 Thomas and (2) 09/10 IC CE 300, Plus 3 more from another District
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3345 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2009 :  1:43:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Have you tried one of those InPower flashers? Anyone? Wondering if they would be better.

http://commerce1.cera.net/tacbusparts/sections/catalog/catalog.asp?cat_id=215 2nd flasher from top

Edited by - Thomasbus24 on 05/28/2009 1:45:30 PM
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3345 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2009 :  1:23:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here...you can see the bus driver and mechanics' mugshots in the video. http://www.newschannel5.com/Global/story.asp?S=10301838

They show a 1998 Thomas MVP-EF, as if it were the bus involved. That would likely point to a standard Weldon 7000. Of course we do not know if the flasher was the problem or if this is even the correct bus.

Edited by - Thomasbus24 on 05/29/2009 1:25:11 PM
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nbates723
New Member

USA
9 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2009 :  06:30:57 AM  Show Profile  Visit nbates723's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think it is pathetic that these mechanics are still working. That probably tells you that they were not the only ones that knew about it.
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