McGill’s buses and yellow lights

Below sent to McGill’s buses a few weeks ago, via their website.

Dear McGill’s,

Please could you remind your drivers that a yellow light means “Stop, unless doing so would cause a collision”. It does NOT mean “Speed up and get through the lights!”.

I go through the junction at the north side of the Finnieston bridge, and I regularly see your bus drivers going through red there, because they didn’t heed yellow. On some occasions, as they turn right, they actually go through the pedestrian lights that have already gone green! There is simply no excuse for this, as they would have had a yellow for several seconds.

Please re-iterate to your drivers that yellow means “Stop, unless unsafe to do so”.

Thanks.

15 Comments »

  1. bus driver said

    Dear sir,
    I would like to point out to you, that a bus is not a car. Sometimes it is not possible to stop at an amber light ( not yellow) as atempting to stop would be more dangerous than going through. Our passengers do not have the luxury of seatbelts or airbags. Also some are elderly, disabled, children and somtimes they may have to stand. We need to make split second decisions, so maybe you should bear this in mind in future.

    • Paul Jakma said

      I’m not talking about *always* stopping for yellow. That’s clearly not possible, as you say. I’m saying there is no excuse to *go through RED*.

      The amber light is shown for enough time (several seconds usually) before the lights go red, that any driver who is not speeding has more than sufficient opportunity to bring their vehicle to a safe stop (including for passengers) before the light goes red.

      A vehicle that goes through red either has a driver who deliberately ignored a yellow that was visible to them for more than enough time, or they were speeding, or both. There’s no excuse for either. You’re not supposed to speed – and it’s particularly irresponsible for any commercial passenger vehicle driver to do so. You’re not supposed to go through red lights – the length of time of the yellow leaves no excuse.

      Again, to be 100% clear, I’m talking about GOING THROUGH RED LIGHTS.

      I’m a car driver, cyclist and a motorcyclist (well, not at the moment). I’m often actually **scared** now to brake for yellows when I’m on 2-wheels, because car drivers here are now so want to “gas it on yellow” that I’m afraid I’ll get rear-ended. I’ve had it happen twice in the last year or so that I’ve braked because the lights changed in front of me and a car behind has nearly run me over. Once one nearly skidded into me from behind, with a squeal of the tyres, another had to swerve into the lane beside me as they couldn’t stop in time. This is with me on a bicycle with rim-caliper brakes that are incredibly poor compared to car brakes, in the centre of town where it’s busy and where cars probably should be staying below the maximum speed limit of 30mph!

      Going back to the Finnieston bridge in Glasgow, I’ve actually seen pedestrians who’ve started to cross (they’ve got a green man after all) having to *jump back* because of the red-light running buses.

      • Paul said

        Get a life fuk wit u try driving a bus and keep on time for a day and get pricks to work on time bet you change your tune fuk wit

      • J Wallace said

        Not all traffic lights give you enought time between amber and red a perfect example hillington interchange and braehead when one set has changed to amber the other set has started to change to green check it out

        • Paul Jakma said

          That’s bad so – should be reported to the council!

          The lights at the Finnieston bridge (north side), where I see buses go through red regularly, are on yellow for more than long enough though.

    • Alun said

      When I was taught to drive I was taught to anticipate the unexpected as well as the expected. Anticipate another vehicle changing lanes without indicating, a vehicle in front braking suddenly, a pedestrian stepping out in front. You are a ‘highly trained’ bus driver, I assume you know your routes and also the signal phasing at junctions. I know the phasing of the lights in my area, I know on my approach to a junction if the lights are about to change and I adjust my driving/cycling to suit.

      You say that you do not have the luxury of seatbelts and airbags to protect your passengers. Surely then you have a greater responsibility and duty of care towards your passengers because of this? This does not mean hammering towards junctions and then having to brake sharply! Adjust your driving to suit the enviroment.

  2. Paul said

    Get a life u dim fuk u try driving a bus and keep it on time to get you to work retard

    • Paul Jakma said

      Are you saying management pressure on drivers is leading them to flout road traffic laws & safety because of too-tight schedules? If you have evidence of that, there’s surely a news story in it and you should talk to a journalist.

      Or perhaps you think it’s acceptable to run red lights?

  3. Paul Jakma said

    An 8-year-old girl on a bicycle was killed on tuesday when she was knocked down by a McGill’s bus: http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/4356646/Bicycle-girl-8-is-killed-by-bus.html

    • Sam said

      It was my wee sister that got killed. Hope you get a better answer than we did.

      • Paul Jakma said

        Hi Sam,

        It was so sad reading about your sister. I’m very very sorry. I hope you and your family will eventually find a way to come to terms with this terrible loss. :(

        I really think road safety and the road environment in the UK needs some radical overhauls. E.g. why the hell are we sending large buses smack through residential areas where kids play? Why are the speed limits still 30mph in residential areas? They should be 20mph (or less) – like in many countries in the continent – which would both reduce the number of accidents and greatly increase survival rates in the accidents that did occur.

        Anyway, I’m really sorry that you lost your little sister. :(

        regards,

        Paul.

  4. J Wallace said

    I think it’s time the ignorant need to be educated when you are taught to drive buses if the lights are amber you proceed as if you were to brake hard you risk injury to you’re passengers think about it

    • Paul Jakma said

      Where are you taught this? It would be really interesting to get evidence of this, if it’s the case, as it runs contrary to the Highway Code and road traffic law. If any bus companies have this as official policy then it needs to be exposed.

      If anyone has evidence (e.g. PDFs, screen shots, photos) of bus companies training their drivers to ignore yellows, or evidence of bus companies putting pressure on drivers to flout road traffic laws in order to meet schedules, feel free to email me (paul@jakma.org) and I’ll post them for you to protect your anonymity. Or get in touch with a journalist at a good newspaper!

      • J Wallace said

        Well when I passed my test 15 years ago Paul I failed my first test for braking hard on amber and stopping over the line and that was the reason I agree with you it’s not right but that’s the pressure we are up against and I don’t mean bye the company’s I mean in law

  5. no one seems too bothered that this company is run by a known criminals & co, typical SNP politicians talk a lot and do nothing

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