How has your experience been with bus drivers? Mine has been pretty good. Most are good with directions, courteous and skilled behind the wheel. But the Vancouver Police Department apparently has an issue with some Coast Mountain Bus Company drivers.
Or, should I say, had.
I came across a letter dated Dec. 6, 2006 addressed to Stephen Hayes, supervisor of service delivery for Coast Mountain Bus Company, from Insp. Andy Hobbs, who was at that time in charge of the VPD’s traffic section.
The letter was posted recently on the VPD’s website under the department’s Freedom of Information releases. As I’ve reported previously, the VPD posts the releases simultaneous to their release to the person or group that requested it. So why the heck would someone be interested in a letter from 2006?
The cops couldn’t tell me.
But I’m guessing maybe a lawyer is representing a client who got hit by a bus or something like that and wants to get her hands on documents to help her case. Or maybe somebody was simply on a fishing expedition for documents related to bus drivers and cops and this is what he found on the end of his line.
I dunno. But let’s have a look at what Hobbs was concerned about back in 2006. Didn’t somebody once say understanding the past helps understand the future? I guess I could Google that but I’m too lazy. Anyway, here we go, beginning with a quote from Hobbs: “Our concerns are by no means intended to be critical of all of your drivers and I believe that in the context of our conversation, that would have been clear to any observer,” he said, referring to an earlier meeting with Hayes. “The majority of drivers are in compliance with the regulations with respect to road use and I hope that our perspective provides additional opportunities to enhance your in-service training for drivers.”
Hobbs laid out six concerns:
- Traffic lights: “Based on our observations and public complaints/comments, any failure to stop for traffic lights combined with the practice of honking the horn through yellow and red lights is dangerous.”
- Blocking intersections: “There is a need to accurately judge the available distance through an intersection when entering on a green so as to not ‘plug’ the intersection, particularly in the congested downtown core.”
- Lane straddling: “I recognize that in some cases, due to road design and some other factors, this practice is necessary to avoid collisions. However, it should be kept to an absolute minimum.”
- Safety triangles/equipment: “When a bus is broken down on the side of the road, safety triangles should be used to supplement the four-way hazard lights that can dim over time.”
- Signals: “The correct use of signals when approaching or leaving a stop. The hazard lights can create frustration and confusion to other driver and road users.”
- Speeding: “While it may seem obvious, I believe that speeding is a significant contributing factor in collisions and I would appreciate your support by including the obvious — obeying speed limits — in your training.”
So because those concerns were raised seven years ago, I contacted Const. Brian Montague of the VPD’s media section to get an update. He replied with an email. This is what he said: “The letter is seven years old, but we continue to have an open dialogue with Coast Mountain so that if there are any concerns that arise, they can be addressed.”
Can’t wait for the next FOI releases from the VPD concerning cabs, cyclists and all those road hogs in pick-up trucks.
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