Buses Speeding on 93

Discussions about the town school transportation system.

Buses Speeding on 93

Postby duffyhouse on Tue Dec 11, 2001 9:32 pm

I am so sorry to say that I witnessed 2 Tewksbury Transit buses on 93 South at 9:10 am this morning traveling over 80 mph from Dascomb Rd. to 129 where the traffic began to slow. The buses had kids inside, and they were traveling in the 3rd lane over, next to the fast lane, the entire way until they got off to go on Rt. 128. After much deliberation, I called Tewksbury Transit and reported it to the dispatcher.

How can we get through to these irresponsible drivers' heads that they have a responsibility to the kids on their buses to drive not only within the speed limit, but to drive with extra caution due to the "precious cargo" they are transporting? If they want to drive recklessly on their own time, so be it. But they have no right to put their passengers in such danger.

Excerpt from "Speed Kills":

"Real-life (speed) limits

All these limits do not take into account abnormal road conditions, such as surface water, gravel, ice or other hazards. It does not take into account drunken driving or reflexes slowed by drinking. It does not take into account vehicles operating without proper brakes and tyres or overloaded, it does not take into account other hazards SUCH AS CHILDREN, pedestrians, poor lighting or fog. All of these factors, added to speed, can dramatically increase your likelihood of an accident. It is the speed factor that then makes the fatal difference.

Let's suppose that you are travelling through a built up area and a child steps off the pavement 35 metres in front of you. At 50km /hr (the recommended speed) you would stop with 9 metres to spare. At 60km/hr (the speed limit) you would only have 2 metres to spare. At 70km/hr, the child would be dead.

How does this happen? It's simple. Average reaction times vary between 0,8 seconds and 1,8 seconds. The best case scenario (0.8 seconds) has the 70km/hr driver travelling 11,4 metres before starting to take action to avoid a hazard. In the worst case scenario (1.8 seconds) 34,2 metres have passed before the brakes are applied! Few of us have the driving skills to make an emergency stop without swerving, skidding or rolling and it's not a skill easily learnt.

By keeping within the speed limit, you have more chance of being able to avoid a hazardous situation. Most accidents happen because drivers are in too much of a hurry, not indicating their intentions or paying proper attention to road users around them. Then all that's needed to turn an ordinary trip to tragedy is one unforeseen variable.

Remember, the faster you go... the harder you hit. Speed kills."

How many times will I have to call and report a speeding bus in this town before someone ends up seriously hurt, or worse? One only need to think about what happened to those poor kids and their families from Newton.
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