Tuesday, September 26, 2006

This is just a bit scary!

My lovely youngest and I were talking this afternoon when she got home. It was a lovely afternoon and I was sitting on the porch when he got home so he joined me. We're talking away about his day and how things are going in school this year when he tells me something that made my heart leap out of my chest.

It appears that one day last week or the week before, on his way home from school, the brakes on the bus completely went out. They were travelling down a road and were coming up to a stop sign and when the driver hit the brakes, there weren't any there. Fortunately there was no traffic coming through the intersection. The bus continued to roll but would not stop. It ended up rolling through 2 intersections where oncoming traffic did not stop, one of which had a semi truck nearing them, but not close enough to hit them. It finally all ended when the bus approached another stop sign and the road ended and the bus simply rolled off the side of the road and managed to stop.

Am I wrong for being totally pissed off right now? I do understand that things happen to vehicles mechanically, and I do understand brakes going out. But isn't this something that should have been taken care of by preventative maintenance before it even happened? I mean, engine problems can and do happen with no notice, but brakes on school busses should be checked regularly!

This one has me miffed. I don't even know how to react to it or feel about it. How would you feel?

4 comments:

Kate said...

Was this a school bus? Yes I'd be very, VERY upset. If you took your child out in a vehicle that was poorly maintained and had an incident like this CSB would be well within their rights to take a child from a parent who is irresponsible to the point it threatens their very life.

If I were you - I would make a request to see the maintenance records for that bus. You can make an open records request. I would imagine the Superintendants' office would be the right place to start.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Brakes do fail all of a sudden, but it would be interesting to see the undoctored maintenance records.

Call me a cynic if you will, but any records that you might be shown after this was posted may not be the real record.

Routine preventative maintenance records follow a pattern, fleet wide. If the records for this bus were "different," that would be significant.

In other news:
Governments, schools and other large businesses often fix when broken, rather that adhering to a recommended maintenance schedule, in order to save money (read as, cut corners...).

Hooda Thunkit said...

Jo,

Did you also ask for a copy of the accident report?

Oh yeah, they wouldn't consider it an accident because no other vehicl was involved, even though the occupied school bus blew through 2 different intersections and ran off the end of the road; I forgot...

bobthedad said...

I had a brake line that went out in a previous car and got no warning, but I still had an emergency brake. It isn't as good as the regular brakes, but it stopped the car in a relatively short distance.

This is sooo contrary to a recent experience I had with TPS transportation recently. My daughter had been instructed to call from Start last week to inform us her school bus (from Tarta)had been involved in a minor accident on the way to school but no one was hurt. The school did not want us to hear about this on the news.

You should have been told about this from someone other than your child.