Driver asks 63 student passengers to get off his bus

Started by Buzz Killington, March 09, 2012, 09:54:10 PM

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Buzz Killington

ACTION has apologised for an incident on Thursday afternoon which saw the driver of the 485 School Bus from Telopea Park School ask all 63 students on board to leave the bus, following an incident where students kept ringing the stop bell when nobody planned to get off at the next stop.

After the students left the bus, the driver called the ACTION Communications room to advise them of the situation. He then asked the students to return to the bus, however only ten did so.

The bus then continued along the road to a large group of students with the driver again asking students to reboard the bus, with five more re-boarding. A TAMS spokesperson told The Canberra Times that it then became apparent to the driver that no further students would get back onto the bus, and he continued to operate the service.

Once alerted to the incident, a shuttle van was dispatched to shadow the route to ensure no students were stranded or left waiting for lifts home. The policy in the event of difficult passengers is to park the bus and call the Communications Room for a transport officer to be dispatched.

The bus driver, who has been with ACTION for around three years and has had no previous complaints, has been removed from the shift and an internal investigation is underway.  A senior supervisor spoke to the students on Friday afternoon before operating the run.

"It's a very, very unfortunate situation. Not one that we support. Not one that we condone and we'll certainly be driving the message home to our driver workforce loud and clear," Director James Roncon told ABC News

The school would not comment, and a spokesperson for Education Minister Chris Bourke would not say what, if any, disciplinary action had been taken or support offered to the students.


I honestly can't blame the driver for this, the way kids carry-on on school runs is a joke, that said there are better ways to deal with it.

Buzz Killington

The same thing (pressing the bell, not getting off) used to happen on my school bus in high school every now and then (as I'm sure it does on many of them).

I do recall once the driver stopped at a bus stop and turned the engine off and we sat there for about 10 minutes before he continued on. For a bunch of schoolkids wanting to get home, it certainly sent the right message and together with a visit from the supervisor to talk to our bus the next day, meant there weren't any problems after that.

I guess school kids just don't consider that the driver is responsible for their safety and having them carry on is distracting.

Barry Drive

This is an interesting comment from The Canberra Times website:
As I saw it at the time:
The bell was rung by kindergarten students who were used to bus drivers that only stopped at certain stops. This bus driver stopped at every stop. The first time he stopped and no one got off, the bus driver gave a warning. These kids being around 5-6 years old didn't get the message and pressed it again. At the next stop when no one got off, he proceeded to tell us to "get the f**k off my bus". His words, not mine.
When I explained that the primary kids were used to bus drivers that stopped at certain stops, he proceeded to say "That's b*llsh*t".
He refused to let us back on the bus until some other kids threatened to complain to ACTION about his behavior. Most of us high schoolers decided to walk home but the primary kids being young were unable to and got back on the bus.
Also, the bus was 485 and not 458. This is what I, a first hand witness of the event saw. Make of that what you will.

"This bus driver stopped at every stop" - EVERY STOP? No, he stopped whenever the bell was pushed - which is why buses are fitted with STOP buttons. This seems to contradict the later assertion that they ONLY rang the bell TWICE without getting off. Twice is still two times too many.

But if the offending students "were used to bus drivers that only stopped at certain stops", then they had no need to ring the bell at all.

Quote from: Buzz Killington on March 09, 2012, 11:28:24 PM
The same thing (pressing the bell, not getting off) used to happen on my school bus in high school every now and then (as I'm sure it does on many of them).
Unfortunately it happens on just about every Primary School bus and a some High School and College services. (For some reason, private school children generally behave better than public schools although there are some notable exceptions [St Eddie's].)

Hopefully this incident will result in the School Liaison officers actually doing something about school children who misbehave on school buses. If I ever do any School Runs from here on, I will make sure I report ANY instance of phantom bell ringing just so that James Roncon can't trot out the line "I was not aware of any problems" next time a driver snaps.


kids lie through their teeth all the time. especially when they are trying to cause trouble.

Buzz Killington