"Safe coach" campaign throughout the country
The control point of the Road Transport Inspectorate in Głogoczów near "Zakopianka" road is one of many in the whole country, in which inspectors check tour coaches. From the early morning hours, inspectors carried out comprehensive inspections of the technical condition of vehicles, the drivers and carriers’ permissions, as well as the driver's working time and their sobriety.
“At the beginning of the holidays, the Road Transport Inspection and departments reporting to the Ministry of Infrastructure are taking all measures to make the trip safe. Thanks to the fact that drivers and carriers meet all standards, they are refreshed, they are sober, because not only sobriety, but also fatigue has an impact on driving safety, holiday trips are safe. Last year during the holiday season nearly 1,700 coaches were inspected. Each entrepreneur can be almost certain that his driver and his coach will be checked also this year,” said Andrzej Adamczyk, Minister of Infrastructure.
“Inspectors not only carry out routine inspections but also react to signals from parents or tour guides. If parents or tour operators have doubts about the technical condition of the bus or, for example, the state of driver's sobriety, they can ask for inspection," said Alvin Gajadhur, Chief Inspector of Road Transport.
Road safety will be supervised by road transport inspectors, but drivers should also take care of their own and other road users’ safety. “We appeal to the drivers for prudence, for removing the leg from the gas, for driving according to the rules,” he added.
The first inspections of coaches carried out in Głogoczów did not raise any objections.
“Information from inspectors shows that the coach is in excellent technical condition, passengers are safe, parents can be calm about the journey of their children,” said Andrzej Adamczyk, the Minister of Infrastructure, who congratulated the drivers, handing commemorative mascots to the drivers, and reflective elements for children travelling by coaches.
During the control of coaches, children had educational fun in area prepared by ITD.
The most modern equipment in action
During "Safe Coach" campaign, among others, mobile diagnostic stations are used. Inspection has three stations that help inspectors in the fight against inefficient, dangerous and poisoning the natural environment vehicles.
The most modern station, with the use of which inspections were carried out in Głogoczów, are equipped, among others, with exhaust gas analyser, opacimeter, hydraulic jets, roller system. In a vehicle controlled in a mobile diagnostic station steering and braking system are checked, and thanks to the so-called hydraulic jets the state of suspension of the car is verified. It is automated and has an independent power source. Thanks to a special construction, it can be deployed within a few minutes at control points on a small area.
“It practically verifies the technical condition of the vehicle with 100% reliability. Since 2011, by using this type of station, we have checked 8,700 vehicles. Unfortunately, in 40% cases registration documents were retained due to poor technical condition of vehicles. The station's efficiency is higher than the efficiency of normal controls. We plan to purchase 16 additional mobile control stations, which will go to all voivodships,” said Alvin Gajadhur, Chief Inspector of Road Transport.
Inspectors, during the inspection, also use specialized control sets, which increase, among others, detectability of devices falsifying tachograph records.
Ask specialists for help
Bus inspections are also conducted as much as possible at the request of parents and tour operators. All you need to do is contact the competent provincial road transport inspectorate.
The interest in the "Safe Coach" campaign is growing. Due to the fact that the number of inspections carried out at the request of parents and guardians is increasing, it is worth reporting the need to conduct them several days in advance (contact data of individual WITD can be found on the website gitd.gov.pl/kontakt/witd/). The inspectors will check the coach at the bus departure point or indicate a specially prepared checkpoint to which the coach should be directed before departure.
"Safe coach" in numbers
Coaches travelling on Polish roads are in better and better condition, however - as shown by the results of the Road Transport Inspection’s controls, you can still find vehicles that should be withdrawn from traffic.
During the last year's holidays, ITD inspectors checked 1670 coaches. 71 registration documents (4.3%) were stopped, including 17 cases (1%), due to the technical condition of the vehicles being fatal and threatening the safety of passengers, it was also necessary to issue a ban on further driving. In 465 (28%) cases, the activities were completed with the imposition of criminal fines. The inspectors stopped the further drive of two bus drivers who were under the influence of alcohol.
The "Safe Coach" campaign has been carried out by the Road Transport Inspection since 2003. During the summer and winter holidays, inspectors control coaches that transport children and young people to rest. The action is to ensure the safety of the youngest travellers and increase the awareness of carriers, and consequently reduce the number of dangerous road events.
- A declaration of willingness to carry out the inspection should take place a few days before departure. The notification can be done by phone or by e-mail. Please contact with the competent provincial road transport inspectorate (http://www.gitd.gov.pl/kontakt/witd).
- The journey should be planned by taking into account the time necessary to carry out the inspection, the driver's time and stops.
- Driver's working time - after every 4.5 hours of driving the driver should have a minimum of 45-minute break. The daily driving limit is 9 hours, it can be extended to 10 hours, but not more often than twice a week.
- The coach used by children and adolescents under 18 years of age should be properly marked by placing the yellow and black children's signboards at the front and rear of the vehicle.
- Seat belts - both the driver and passengers should wear seatbelts if the coach is equipped with them.
- Passages in the bus must be free, the use of them must not be hindered, for example, by left luggage.
- Passengers should follow the basic rules while driving: it is dangerous to walk on the coach, lean on the door or behave loudly as it can distract the driver.
- Be careful when stopping - do not go out or enter the coach from the side of the road, or go out into the road from outside the vehicle. Stops should take place in designated places.