When Ella and I were living On the Sunshine Coast fromLast year in October till march of this year, we caught Sunbus buses every week from Nambour to maroochydore and mooloolaba, two close by coastal towns. We had to bus it to these locations weely because I had both therapy and medical services in those locations. The buses ,while being modern still use a simple piano hinge just like you use for doors on your kitchen cabinets to attatch the top of a ramp to the bus body that may have to carry up to 500-600lbs of person and chair and there is no reinforcement . Of the 50 plus times we caught the service, at least a dozen of those times Ella was needed to open the ramp herself bedcause of either total refusal by the driver to get off his seat, or by a “who gives a shit if you want to get on open it yourself” attitude. On many of those occasions the ramp was scary to be on, there was obvious rust, exposed raised screws that were working their way loose and actual broken parts of the ramp and on one occasion it was so old it was jammed shut. Then the worst experience was in Febuary, when the Sunbus service I was on to get us both to maroochydore slammed on the brakes stopping from 50 mile a hour to zero in seconds, throwing me out of my chair and damaging both shoulders. I am still, 9 months later suffferring and will face total bi-lateral shoulder reconstruction in my near future, below is the link.
The disgusting fact about the disabled laws in Queensland Australia is that when researching the story on my accident I discovered that the companies have, get this, are you ready! 30 years to comply with disabled access requirements when they build new buses. here is the link to that story-
Below is the story of another Queensland based disabled gentleman who sufferred at the incompetent hands of sunbus. By the way If sunbus denies any of my claim they paid $7,800 in damages I still have the paper work.
Reposted from a story By Bill Hoffman | 22nd November 2011
SUNBUS faces a Queensland Anti Discrimination Commission complaint and calls from the disability sector for its licences to be revoked after a wheelchair-bound passenger was badly injured when an baccess ramp collapsed.
The company ordered a state-wide audit of the ramps after the accident, which is believed to have been caused when rusted hinges collapsed. The ramps are connected to buses by a piano hinge.
Peter Parkes, 56, who has been confined to a wheelchair since he was a child because of a rare degenerative condition, suffered broken ribs close to his vertebrae when a hinge let go as he was leaving a bus at Memorial Ave in Maroochydore on August 1. He dropped 30cm, badly jarring his back and breaking his ribs. He faces further tests to isolate the cause of ongoing pain. His doctor has diagnosed him with having suffered a whiplash injury.
Mr Parkes undergoes a laborious seven transfers each morning from bed to wheelchair to toilet, shower and then to organise a morning meal. He was left in so much pain he was bed-bound for a week after the incident.
More than three months later he is still in pain. The anti-discrimination action was filed, he said, because the disabled deserved equal access to public transport.
“A friend of mine and their carer saw another ramp that had two rivets completely gone from the hinge and a third coming out. If what happened to me had happened to someone on a ventilator and with no neck control it would snap their neck,” Mr Parkes said.
“The one I was on was filthy. It had not been cleaned or maintained.” On the rare occasions he has gone out since the accident Mr Parkes has used taxis, which are a huge drain on his pension.
Peter Yeo, the president of the PointZero5 Spinal Campaign, called for suspension of Sunbus licences across the state until stringent safety checks were carried out for all passengers. A Sunbus spokeswoman said the company had advised Mr Parkes of the process required to lodge a claim for injuries suffered.
A letter to that effect was now being actioned.
The spokeswoman said the cause of the ramp hinge failure had been determined. “As a result all components have been inspected as part of a state-wide audit,” she said.
“A workshop bulletin was issued to all depots once the issue was identified and a safety audit has since been conducted on all Transport Australia Group vehicles. “Maintenance checks on ramp hinges are being conducted on a weekly basis. “Sunbus undertakes comprehensive safety audits of all vehicles on a weekly basis. As far as we are concerned any future issue with hinges will be identified very early on and rectified accordingly.”