With school back in session, more school buses will be on the road,
traffic will be heavier in the vicinity of schools and more children will
be out and about. Interestingly enough, children are safer traveling in
school buses than in any other type of motor vehicle. Most school bus
accidents occur when children are exiting buses.
Here are some suggestions for safely driving in school
zones and around school buses. Share this information with your drivers, as
well as others in your organization:
When driving in areas with school zones, slow
down, drive more carefully and be extra vigilant and alert. Children have
limited experience using the roads and are spontaneous in their actions.
Watch for children who may be playing near the street or walking to school. They may be fooling
around and not minding traffic, and may dart from between parked cars or
shrubbery, or run across the road to catch a bus without looking.
Keep in mind that children are still learning to
determine the source of a sound and judge distances and speeds. They cannot
accurately tell where a vehicle is coming from nor judge how fast it is
Follow all posted speed limits. Speed limits in
school zones are usually 15-20 miles per hour, unless otherwise posted.
Safety patrol members at
crosswalks are there to direct school students not the traffic. Law
enforcement officials at crosswalks, on the other hand, do both. If
directed to stop, stop well before the crosswalk and stay stopped until directed to continue on.
Be aware of the flashing signal light system
that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of their pending actions:
flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to load/unload
children. Slow down and prepare to stop, regardless of your direction of
lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped and that
children are getting on/off. You must stop and wait until the red lights
stop flashing and the extended stop sign is withdrawn. This signals that
all the children are loaded on the bus or have safely crossed the street.
You must stay stopped until the school bus begins moving again.
After stopping for a school bus, watch for children
along the side of the road, and drive slowly until you have passed them.
You must always stop when traveling in the same
direction as the bus.
When traveling in the opposite direction, each state
is a little different regarding which vehicles have to stop when a school
bus is loading/ unloading students. Some states allow vehicles to continue
on if the school bus is on the opposite side of a divided or multi-lane
roadway. Know the law in the states you travel.
All states require school buses to stop at all
While there are rigid penalties to deter unsafe
driving in school zones and school buses, the precious cargo being carried
by the school buses should be the motivation for safe driving. BI
David Kolman is a veteran truck communicator, keynote
speaker and long-haul trucker. Commissioned as an Honorary Colonel on the
Kentucky governor’s staff for his work promoting traffic safety, he
actively participates in trade associations and reports news and
information about the trucking industry for broadcasting and print media.
Equipment news roundup
Eaton has two new
fully automated transmissions: the Fuller UltraShift HV (Highway Value)
medium-duty and the heavy-duty Fuller UltraShift LHP (Line-haul High
Performance). The HV is designed for Class 6 and 7 vehicles with diesel
engines in the 195 to 260 horsepower range with torque capacities up to 660
pounds per foot and loads up to 33,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. A key
feature is the “Hill Assist” which automatically minimizes
rollback on up to 10 percent grades while the driver makes the transition
from the brake pedal to the accelerator. The LHP transmission provides
fully automatic “two-pedal” operation.
Freightliner Group plans
to include electronic stability control with its Roll Advisor & Control
safety technology on its trucks. Developed in cooperation with
ArvinMeritor’s Meritor-Wabco Vehicle Control Systems, the technology
uses sensors integrated into a truck’s anti-lock brake system to
track the truck’s lateral acceleration and wheel speed and detect the
potential for rollover. The technologies are designed to alleviate truck
rollover by alerting drivers to recognize risky vehicle maneuvers and/or
reduce the forces pushing the truck toward rollover by automatically
slowing the truck to reduce the risk of an accident.
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America has new powertrain warranties for its medium trucks. In
addition to the standard 36-month warranty on the entire vehicle, the
powertrain warranty on its FE and FG Class 4 and Class 5 vehicles has been
extended to five years or 175,000 miles and includes Mitsubishi manual
transmissions and Aisin automatic transmissions. For the Class 6 and Class
7 FK and FM models, the warranty covers powertrain components for five
years or 250,000 miles and Mitsubishi and Eaton manual transmissions.
Nissan Diesel America has
increased its standard warranty coverage on its 2006 UD Trucks for longer
protection periods for the base vehicle and selected chassis and powertrain
components. Coverage is now for three years with unlimited mileage and 100
percent parts and labor reimbursement for warranty repairs.
Sterling Trucks unit of DaimlerChrysler plans to introduce a new cabover truck for the North
American market next year that covers Classes 3, 4 and 5. The vehicle will
be manufactured using common components and parts from across
DaimlerChrysler’s various brands. Further development of other
mid-range offerings is also in the works.
I want to hear from you. Tell me how we can improve.
Beverage Industry’s December issue highlights five beverages brands that are “shooting for the moon” in terms of innovation. Also in this issue, we spotlight the premiumization of the private-label beverage market, the latest trends impacting the use of tea ingredients in beverages, the growth of beverage sales in the eCommerce platform, and much more!