15 year old killed in Offaly bus crash. I’m sure Gay Byrne will swoop in and make it all better. For fuck’s sake. How many more kids will have to die before the Government does something besides commissioning reports? Let’s have a pool to see how many hours it will be before the Government mentions how much cash they’ve spent on school buses. That’s the default defense these days.
John Timmons points out the URL RTE used: http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/0404/rta1.html
Obviously RTE are now used to multiple stories on Road Traffic Accidents.
[…] Damien Mulley is wondering ” how many hours it will be before the Government mentions how much cash theyâ€™ve spent on school buses. Thatâ€™s the default defense these days.” […]
I heard no voices yelping when the government announced their timelines to make safer school transport–end of 2006 before anything significant happens. I haven’t heard anything except “that would cost a bunch” when people pointed out the number of 10-yr-old subcontracted buses on school routes–buses that I think circumvent the seat belt rules–that would have to be shunted off for more expensive (newer) transport.
I wonder why maintenance inspections for public buses aren’t more rigorous. I haven’t seen any funding for maintenance inspectors for school buses. But I know there’s a problem with underfunding in the Department of Education, from where that kind of money would probably be expected to flow.
So we have what we have because we’re happy with the status quo, aren’t we? Who is standing up to say, “Spend more!” And who believes there’s enough spine in the government bureaucracy to inspect programmes, take names, and fire those who compromise road safety. Has disregard for safety ever been a firing offense? It isn’t a firing offense for elected representatives so why should it be for any other part of Irish society?
I live on a country road where no more than 10% of people abide by the speed limit. It’s the second location in two years where I have walked daily and seen total disregard for safety of pedestrians, school children awaiting transport and slow-moving drivers. Because everyone knows if there’s a tragedy, it’s an “accident” or at worst, a “collision.” Since we blame walls, trees and vehicles for everything tragic involving wheels, we will never move to a point where we take responsibility for road safety in Ireland. That philosophy extends to school transport as well as country lanes, road works areas, and congested travel corridors. We pay our taxes for our right to blaze our own way along Irish roads. As long as we foster a “car culture” grounded in the free passage of hundreds of thousands of unlicensed drivers, we are complicit in a process that looks to propogate a “sure you’ll be grand” attitude that has made Ireland a rogue child in Europe.
I don’t like what mobility means for the Irish traveling public. The most important rules don’t get enforced. And many of the most damaging accidents don’t result in conviction for dangerous driving. I have seen this first-hand as a prosecution witness following two serious accidents. We want people to use the roads because they pay taxes at the pump that primes the economy in so many other areas. Only a fool would stopcock that pump, ground the unlicensed drivers, or clamp down on patterns of unsocial behaviour on the road. We’re stuck in a rut of our own making. As a society we have elected a government that executes our common will.
Bernie, this is what I was complaining about on my blog:
What’s this rogue child in Europe hyperbole. Our road deaths are at the European average. I’m not saying they aren’t high, all I’m saying is that the hyperbole in the media isn’t doing anything good.