Keeping the kids safe: MAN Lion’s Intercity on tour in the name of road safety
What’s the right way to sit on the school bus with my backpack? What do I need to remember when getting on and off the bus? And what’s a blind spot? In order to answer these questions and many more – and thus significantly improve the safety of our youngest road users – MAN Truck & Bus has launched a new road safety campaign. Experts from local road safety associations and MAN ProfiDrive have been visiting primary schools in south Germany and showing pupils the things they need to remember when taking the bus.
- More than 300 schoolchildren have already taken part in the road safety campaign
- The experts are accompanied on their tour by a MAN Lion’s Intercity, a model used as both a school bus and for city and cross-country routes
- Safety comes first: MAN’s active turning assistance system with pedestrian detection helps to prevent accidents caused by blind spots
Making roads as safe as possible is one of MAN Truck & Bus’s top priorities. In order to achieve this, MAN places great stock in both innovative technology and basic and advanced training initiatives for drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians. The company’s latest campaign focuses on our youngest road users. In order to give them the best preparation possible in how the road works, experts from local road safety associations have been visiting a large number of primary schools in Bavaria, together with instructors from training provider MAN ProfiDrive. “We show the kids what they need to remember when taking the bus and how to behave to make sure they arrive at their destinations safely,” outlines Manfred Raubold, CEO of state road safety association Landesverkehrswacht Bayern.
In order to show the children a practical reference point for what they are learning, the team is accompanied on their tour by a MAN Lion’s Intercity. “It helps the children practise waiting for the bus, what to do when the bus arrives at the stop, what to remember when getting on and off, how to act on the bus, and how to sit properly when they’ve got their school bags with them,” says Raubold. He then adds, “We also use a triangular orange tarpaulin to demonstrate to the children just how big the blind spot is for a bus driver. It’s important that the children can see and experience for themselves just how limited the driver’s visibility is.” The children are also shown how heavy a bus tyre is and what can happen if the bus brakes in an emergency.
During October and November, the road safety experts visited a number of primary schools in south Germany – including in Pilsting, Friedberg and Affing – and trained over 300 children in Years One to Three. “This campaign is something special – not just for the children, but for MAN as well. It’s amazing how attentive they are in following what we tell and show them, and how they put their new knowledge into practice straight away – even the kids in Year One. We firmly believe that this will enable us to play an important role in ensuring the safety of our children,” says Heinz Kiess, Head of Product Marketing Bus at MAN Truck & Bus, before adding, “We want to reach as many schoolchildren as possible. But of course, we’ll have to wait and see how the COVID-19 situation develops before we can take the tour elsewhere.”
The MAN Truck & Bus team have been supported on the tour by staff from the local “Verkehrswachten”, or road safety associations. They handle the road safety education, while MAN provides the vehicle and driver. “We have been working very closely with MAN ProfiDrive on this. Our training provider’s instructors have many years of experience in this field,” says Kiess. Once the road safety lessons are over, there are opportunities to present the MAN Lion’s Intercity, with its powerful D15 engine, and the MAN TipMatic Coach to the local bus companies. The Lion’s Intercity was chosen deliberately to accompany the tour because it is often used as a school bus, while also being suitable for city and cross-country routes and occasional travel.
It is also equipped with a wide range of assistance and safety systems – such as the active turning assistance system with pedestrian detection. “Unfortunately, because of the blind spot, accidents while turning are still a regular occurrence. With our innovative systems, we are aiming to play an important role in improving road safety, especially at junctions,” stresses Kiess. To this end, a front camera and additional cameras on one or both sides of the vehicle monitor the traffic at all times, ensuring that the driver is under much less pressure in dangerous turning situations. The driver is actively alerted to any dangerous situations or impending collisions, with visual warnings from two displays installed in their field of vision and an additional, acoustic warning signal. The modern driving and turn assistant systems also increase safety, as they reliably detect pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists in the driver’s blind spot, and actively draw the driver’s attention to the hazardous situation. “Improving safety for all road users is something we think about all the time, and that drives us forwards. That is why we are investing all our experience and expertise – not least in the development of innovative assistance systems,” Kiess concludes.