Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois on August 31, 1972 · Page 10
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Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois · Page 10

Alton, Illinois
Issue Date:
Thursday, August 31, 1972
Page 10
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Page 10 article text (OCR)

A42 Alton Evening Telegraph Hmraday, August 31,1972 School buses need more attention; many are unsafe By Peter Weaver Consumer Writer We hear a lot about the racial busing problem. Unfortunately, we don't hear enough about the "other" busing problem — the matter of safety. In a few days, some IS million children will be ridinq off to school in 200.000 yellow, boxlike buses. All too many of these buses, according to Henry VVakeland, director of the Bureau of Surface Transporation Safety (NTSB). "are almost tin cans on wheels .... time after time they come apart at the seams." Take a good look at your child's school bus. Chances are it has only a few, sparse rivets holding on a patchwork of thin, metal sheets. On heavy impact, Wakeland says, "these sheets can come unstuck and act like giant cookie cutters on the children inside." Three years ago, when I first wrote about the gross inadequacies of many of ou 11 school buses, it was hard to find a good bus or accesso-y safety equipment. I know because we tried to fix up our own school's buses. Things have changed. Some really good buses are beginning to appear and manufacturers are offering "retrofit kits" so you can pad dangerously exposed metal on existing school bus seats. "We have a completely new bus available," says Charles Ward, president of Ward School Bus, Inc., "which will be much stronger than the older buses." The new buses will get 12,000 rivets instead of the 2,000 used on older buses, and the sheet metal will also be much larger. The extra cost is only $390. Dudley Starr, vice president of Wayne Corp., says his company will also have a much stronger bus available later this fall. The company is using full-length, so'.iJ metal pieces on the roof and sides to give an "almost steamless" bus. Padded seats are also available. Superior Coach Co. is offering a variety of padded seats to prevent the smashing of tooth, noses and kneos. Prices range from $!) for tho "Kcono-Pad" seat to $40 far a "Super • Pad, High-Back Seat." Other companies are coming out with safety features and most will offer (ho retrofitting kits to make scats safer. If your school doesn't have this minima! padding on the bus seats, raise a fuss. The padding kits are available for ;i relatively low cost (from $7 to $13 pnr sols, installed) ''School Bus Safoty Problems" is tho name of ;i good booklet your school should have. It spoi.i dangerous brake, steering, clutch and fire situations witr a series of photographs and "how to" maintenance answers. You can get a copy free by writing: Motor Vehicle Programs; NHTSA; Washington, D.C. 10590. Buses, however, are only part of the problem. Th<? driver is vitally important. In Colorado, for example, children were killed in a bus crash because, when th? brakes failed, the driver didn't know how to down-shift to stop. There had been no training or drills on this. Drivers should be carefully selected and given far more training than they usually gel. "The Selection and Training of School Bus Drivers," published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is an excellent book which tells a school how to set up driver selection and training programs. Your school can get a copy by sending $2 to: National Technical Information Service; Springfield, Va. 22151. The book says teen-age boys (girls don't seem to want Iho job) can make good bus drivers if they're carefully selected, motivated an'l trained. North Carolina treats the position of school bus driver as a great honor, and teachers select students for the job who show outstanding leadership and responsibility. Mothers of school - age children, according to "he book, can also make good drivers "because of their ability to deal with children and their willingness to accept instruction." Delayed at bank? beef to banker By Carlton Smith How long has it been since you fretted and fumed as you slowly worked your way to the head of the line at the teller's window, only to have •a • • N K x T 'WINDOW PLEASE" sign go up in your face? Or found yourself in a line that didn't move at al! because the man at the window had brought in the weekly receipts from Sam's Shoe Store? Frustrating, isn't all? All right, we're going to do something about it. You are about to become a member of the "Get Your Bank on the Ball" club. We went to a friend with wide connections in banking circles to ask why this should be and whether banks can't do something about it. "It does not have to be," he replied "Indeed, a number of banks are doing something about it." He supplied the following examples: A Chicago bank, the Central National, offers depositors a gadget called the Electronic Instaposit unit. You just put your checks in a drawer and receive a stamped receipt. There's even mow elaborate gadgetry in a branch of Surety National in Los Angeles — instant cash machines, check validators and closed-circuit TV. They promise U get depositors out in three minutes or less. Fine for depositors — but what about the customer who Just wants to cash a check and gnashes his teeth while the teller counts the 8% pounds of silver brought in from Sam's Shoe Store? At First National, in Memphis, customers queue up in one master line, which feeds off to the teller windows as they open up. Several banks around the country, our informant says, are using this one to keep customers happier. They should be even happier with the version of the master line used at Equitable Trust in Baltimore. A customer receives a numbered card as he enters. Then he sits in a comfortable lounge area, where he can drink coffee or fan through magazines until his number is flashed on an electronic Scoreboard that matches up his number with the number of an open teller window. A number of banks — in Atlanta. St. Louis. New York, Milwaukee and Dallas — ease the *tram on customers' nerves with an idea borrowed from the supermarkets: express lines for customers with a single item of business —one check to cash, one deposit to make. As we all know, the lines are longest and slowest during the noon hour. This is precisely when your teller hangs up a sign and ambles off to lunch. Some simple ideas here that shouldn't put loo much of a strain on the brain. Why aren't they in wider — in fact, universal — use? I'm glad you asked that. That's where you come in. You are now a member of the "Get Your Bank on the Ball" club. First, you get the name of your bank's president (Ask for a copy of the bank's "Statement of Condition.") Then you clip out this column and send it to him with a note reading, "Hey, Charlie, let's get on the ball." (Newspaper Enterprise Assn.) PAT RILEY USE OF APPLIANCES PAT ANNOUNCING BIGGEST APPLIANCE SAVINGS EVER... WE'VE COMBINED 3 STORES UNDER ONE ROOF TO CUT OVEHEAD AND BRING YOU LOWER PRICES... niters WAREHOUSE of APPLIANCES DOUBLE BUYING POWER MEANS DOUBLE SAVINGS WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET!!! SEE THE LARGEST SELECTION OF MAJOR APPLIANCES UNDER ONE ROOF WE DO OUR OWN FINANCING AND GIVE YOU SERVICE AFTER THE SALE ^ WE CUT OUR *> DRIVE A LITTLE J OVERHEAD SO WE J AND SAVE A LOT J CAN CUT PRICES T AT THE ALL NEW >f AND SAVE You Money >t Warehouse of Appliances Whirlpool Whirlpool > Refrigerator WHIRLPOOL WASHERS •ff $ I49 '289 DRYERS RCA COLOR TV HOTPUir«i , i^^, RRHCES ^ Whirlool AccuCotocgl Hrrtpjcrlivl: Jtdmirol -hortp_o-Liv±r FREEZER Whirlpool Frigidaire! Gibson Frigidaire! COLOR TV Gibs **&*WAREHOUSE of APPLIANCES MIZERANY PRESIDENT 1401 VAUGHN ROAD - WOOD RIVER S^Tfttt^&K"- AIR CONDITIONED WAREHOUSE FOR YOUR COMFORT... FREE PARKING RILEY WAREHOUSE OF APPLIANCE i

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