Tough to beat buses' blind spots

Tough to beat buses' blind spots
Mr Lim Yong Long, operations manager of XingSheng Transport Services, which provides transport services to local and international schools, factories and offices.

SINGAPORE - As a bus driver, Mr Lim Yong Long, diligently checks his side mirrors before driving off.

But this is not enough to minimise accidents as buses have blind spots, said the owner of XingSheng Transport Services.

Because of this, commuters also need to be more alert and avoid being too close to the bus, Mr Lim, 55, added.

Blind spot mirrors were brought up in court on Monday, during a coroner's inquiry into the death of a three-year-old boy.

Last December, Kryshan Nirmal Kumar was run down by a bus at a cemetery off Old Choa Chu Kang Road. The little boy was standing within the blind spot of the bus, one of the factors State Coroner Marvin Bay attributed the accident to.

He suggested for a review of the forward visibility of large passenger vehicles, in particular, the design and placement of blind spot mirrors.

But Mr Lim, who has 15 years of driving experience under his belt, feels that the problem also lies with commuters' lack of awareness of their surroundings.

RESPONSIBILITY

He said: "Parents have a responsibility to hold their children close.

"Sometimes bus drivers are blamed because the vehicles they drive are bigger than the victim."

Bus driver Ng Kim Hock, 52, agreed.

Mr Ng, who owns K. H. Ng Bus Transport Service, said of blind spots: "It is impossible to prevent accidents 100 per cent unless you have more advanced technology, like putting sensors on wheels to detect people near the bus.

"We can do our due diligence by checking our side mirrors, but what if a child runs to the left side after we have checked that side and are looking to our right?

"It all happens within seconds."

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