Be bus aware at all times

Young bus drivers and the New South Wales Centre for Road Safety are raising awareness of the need to be Bus Aware to combat bus-related fatalities.

According to a Federal Government department’s figures, bus-related fatalities doubled in 2016 compared to 2015.

The Centre for Road Safety bus safety campaign will start up this week for the start of term three.

As a part of the campaign, the NSW Centre for Road Safety is inviting everyone to get educated on bus safety simply by going to either their Facebook page or the Be Bus Aware website.

The campaign aims to educate parents, carers, children and motorists on the importance of being road safety aware around buses and on the risks of ignoring the 40km/h speed limit when school bus lights are flashing.

Young bus driver Bill Ottey of Bill’s Bus Service said the flashing lights on buses are a reminder that there are children nearby.

"The flashing lights only start once the door opens and 20-30 seconds after the door closes so they’re a reminder that there are kids around the road and slowing down provides everyone with an element of safety, " he said.

“People are aware of the importance of school zones, but they are not as concerned about the mobile school zones that are the 40km/h zones that surround buses when kids are disembarking.

"Everyone slows down from 50km/h to 40km/h in school zones, but not everyone will try and slow down from 100km/h."

Mr Ottey said the campaign is as much about educating parents as it is their children.

“Parents should always wait on the same side of the road as their children because sometimes when kids see their parents or get excited all road sense goes out the window, and they can’t wait to cross the road to see Mum or Dad, " he said. "This campaign is about educating everyone on the importance of remaining vigilant around buses, slow down to 40 km/h when you see the flashing lights and be bus aware."