Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Monday, October 28, 2013

Despite Diligent Care

"There was some sort of medically trained person with the military and a number of good Samaritans and eyewitnesses provided some aid, so it was nice to see."
Adam Loria, Calgary EMS

"The bystanders were really good. They had the scene contained and controlled. They were looking after the victims and they were here on scene prior to EMS and fire department and seemed to have it well in hand."
RCMP Sergeant Glen Demmon 

School buses are universally painted bright yellow. That is because this is acknowledged as the most readily seen-and-identified shade in the colour spectrum. The colour brings instant attention and recognition. And municipal laws are in effect that stringently support safety measures with the conveyance of any country's most treasured resources; it's children, vulnerable to harm on any nation's highways and byways.

School bus operators must comply with  Regulation 612  of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA).  School buses are compliant with the Canadian Standards Association Standard, CSA Standard D250, a prescriptive manufacturing standard that school buses must be built and maintained to throughout the service life of a school bus.  
  • The Highway Traffic Act
  • Dangerous Goods Transportation Act
  • Public Vehicles Act
  • Motor Vehicle Transport Act
  • Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act
  • Environmental Protection Act 

Section 175 of the HTA helps keep children safe by requiring motorists to stop when a school bus is stopped with its overhead red signal-lights flashing.  Motorists must not proceed until the bus moves or the lights have stopped flashing.  Failing to stop can result in heavy fines and demerit points.
Parents trustingly send their children off to school through the medium of school buses, whether living in the city, a town, or rurally. School bus drivers are trained to take care of their charges' safety. They must themselves rigidly tend to rules and regulations in the Highway Traffic Safety Act in the operation of a commercial vehicle, with especial emphasis on their role of bringing children safely to their school destination.

Drivers and operators of other road vehicles must acknowledge that they are aware of the presence of a school bus by adhering to all the rules about stopping when a school bus is stopped, and never passing it when a mechanical arm is outstretched indicating the egress or ingress to a bus of local children. Everyone concerned with the transfer of children through a commercial medium in the absence of their parents feels fairly secure in the atmosphere of safety.

And when an accident occurs, and it has disastrous impacts on the children entrusted to the care of a commercial bus operator, all that emphasis on safety and security suddenly plummets into the sphere of concern that nowhere is completely safe of threats to a child's well-being. Which is precisely what occurred near Crossfield, north of Calgary last Friday morning.

When a female bus driver experienced the misfortune of crashing the school bus she was driving into a truck, hitting it head on. Children aged 5 to 13 on their way to a nearby elementary school were treated by paramedics and firefighters and then sent on to hospital. "They were all very brave and ... my heart goes out to them. They were trying not to cry and [were] very shook by what was happening", according to the Deputy Fire Chief with Rocky View County.

The bus driver was in serious condition. Of the three children whose condition was considered to be serious, the little boy whose condition was most serious is the son of the bus driver. What greater assurance of care and responsibility can be implied under those circumstances, of a driver? Six children were considered to be in serious but stable condition, and the remaining four children came out of the event relatively unscathed physically.

The bus remained upright, stuck against a guardrail after the collision, its windshield gone, its front end crushed. A large pickup truck was positioned nose down in a ravine. It had smashed through a reinforced guardrail.
"We're not quite sure what the contributing factor to this collision was, whether that's limited visibility or road conditions or what's actually there. We've contacted our collision reconstructionists out of Calgary to attend and determine that." 
RCMP Constable Robert Frizzell

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

()() Follow @rheytah Tweet