There are many of us men who at some time or other have made a daft comment about a lady driver… Well, one of them has well and truly got her revenge. When Susan Jones’ ex-husband continued to make negative comments about her driving, she decided to do something about it and went and got herself a PSV licence! 8 years down the line and Susan is working for the local bus operator in Neath (UK), South Wales Transport; a recent starter with GreenRoad, where Susan is currently the top driver.
We arrived at 7am on a cold and icy morning to find Susan doing her daily driver checks, before heading out to get some fuel and setting off on the first trip of the day. A lot of people don’t understand the challenges of the modern bus driver; looking after their customers, often driving challenging routes with many parked cars and a lack of understanding from other road users towards buses – all the while trying to stay on time. So is it still possible to drive “Green”? It appears it certainly is…
On our first trip; the 251 Ridgemont Gardens Cimla run, we had a bus full of school children and the drive was beautifully smooth and uneventful, even though we were driving up a really steeply graded route all the way to the school. We then drove back down through a tight housing estate with parked cars on both sides of the road and some really steep hills to descend, however, yet again it’s driven with control and finesse.
During one of the few minutes we had between journeys I ask Susan what she thought of using the GreenRoad system. Susan replied:
“Being aware of the in-vehicle feedback helps ensure that you drive calmly and smoothly and knowing that all the other drivers are using it too makes you a little competitive – to want to be the best! Knowing that you are one of the best gives you a tremendous sense of achievement and pride.”
Susan averaged a score of 9 during the first month of using the system, even now South Wales Transport are still going through their soft launch period. The official launch will happen in mid-January and, when I checked this morning, Susan’s score is now down to just 5!
So, the moral of the story is: be careful whose driving you criticise as it might just come back to bite you!