This title makes me think immediately of funerals. This is not what this installment is about, although problems in the office and on the road often translate into funerals for operating companies, not just their accident victims.
As most motorcoach community members know, contracting plays a major role in much of our operations - including the 30% of motorcoach service provided to schoolchildren on field trips, as well as the commuter-express service provided under contract to transit agencies.
One would think in the Age of Irreversible and Growing Unemployment, employers could phase out their "dead wood" and find some personnel capable of performing their functions competently. Regrettably, bus agencies and companies are generally not among those which do.
One of the unfortunate problems with non-news-oriented magazines is the juxtaposition of their readers' limited long-term memories coupled with the publishers' reluctance to repeat themes (much less whole articles) that are not linked to stories that reflect continuing news or problems.
Many of our fundamental and commonly-held beliefs are invalid because they were derived, often haphazardly, from a blur of intuition, superstition, history, tradition and circumstance rarely subjected to scientific scrutiny. Before the inventions of artificial light and mechanical clocks, being awake during daylight and asleep during darkness were survival necessities - lest one be devoured by predators or stumble into a pit.
In my review of more than 80 public transportation-related accidents and law suits, one almost universal theme has been the absence of any log review. This failure has generally combined with another common theme: A vehicle running behind schedule. The relationship between these two themes is easy to both understand and demonstrate - as is the acknowledgement that they constitute a genuine safety problem. But in a courtroom, the fact that system management failed to notice the vehicle running late - and worse, failed to even look for it - translates into a liability problem as well.
Since driving a 20- or 25-ton motorcoach is touted as so being difficult, it is only fair to ask why so much carnage, and so many law suits, occur apart from collisions. In particular, the number of incidents occurring at or near stops seems largely disproportionate to the perceived simplicity of handling things when the bus or coach is stationary