Safety first

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Today we will discuss motorcoach safety. Many mishaps involving tour buses can be avoided by erring on the side of caution. Sticking your butt out the window is a perfect example.

If you plan on sticking your rear end out of a bus window, choose any window, any window on the bus, other than the window that is identified as the emergency exit.

To bring the importance of this lesson home, let's look at the case of a 21-year-old engineering student touring South Africa. The young man -- who is, by the way, from Wales, so even if his name had been released you probably wouldn't be able to pronounce it -- suffered serious consequences Tuesday after thrusting his southern exposure through the emergency-exit window of a tour bus. (The fact that the bus was returning from a visit to the Cape wine town of Stellenbosch is neither here nor there.)

That young man is now in a hospital lying flat on his...bed. Apparently, the window considered the man's actions to be an actual emergency and dumped him right out onto the pavement. One can only hope that his experience will teach others the importance of taking appropriate safety precautions while traveling by motorcoach. Remember, keep your seat belt buckled and your pants up.

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