Local News

Motorists Must Use Special Care Around Charter Buses

Posted April 5, 2001 7:00 a.m. EDT

— The threat of serious accidents is constantly on the minds of bus drivers everywhere. Big buses take longer to stop, but motorists often swerve in front of them without thinking.

Retired state trooper Glen Gardner has driven buses for 25 years. He remembers a close call.

"I swerved and applied brakes at the same time, and I missed him by inches," he said. "He never saw me until after he had already gotten into the lane, and he went on down the road like nothing had happened."

Buses need about five times more space to stop than a car does. An empty bus weighs 16 tons -- that does not include the weight of up to 55 passengers and their luggage.

Drivers are subject to regulatory scrutiny. By law, professional drivers can only spend 10 hours a day behind the wheel. Then, they have to rest for at least eight hours.