The South Carolina driver and aide use their training to report the incident and request assistance, and comfort students when the bus is struck by a tractor-trailer. No one is hurt.
There were 15 crashes last year that directly resulted from illegal school bus passing, with a toll of 18 injuries and deaths, according to stop-arm enforcement technology provider Redflex Student Guardian.
Among the incidents in 2013 were:
• A 5-year-old died after stepping off a school bus and being hit by a truck near Pembroke, Ga., Savannah Morning News reported.
• News 12 Connecticut reported that a 17-year-old suffered a broken leg after being hit by a car that apparently passed a school bus illegally.
• Three children were hit by a car as they tried to board a bus in Kelso, Wash.
• A teen was hit and killed by a vehicle in Salisbury, N.C., while crossing the street at a school bus stop.
To combat illegal school bus passing, many operations are testing and implementing automated stop-arm enforcement programs.
School buses are outfitted with a camera system that is triggered to capture data as a vehicle passes the bus while the stop arm is extended and lights are flashing. The data, including photos and video of the incident, are reviewed and placed into an evidence file. Local law enforcement officers review the evidence to determine whether a citation is warranted.
“Far too many drivers underestimate the consequences of illegally passing a school bus," said Thomas O’Connor, president of Redflex Student Guardian. "Photo enforcement is one of the most effective ways to curb this dangerous behavior, while also holding violators accountable.”
The company reports that automated stop-arm enforcement is currently enabled in Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Washington. Legislators in some other states are considering enablement.
A South Carolina school bus driver and aide in a tractor-trailer crash share details on how they used their training to ensure the special-needs students aboard their bus stayed safe.
The motorists reportedly accuse a student of making a rude gesture. The bus driver is fired for not following district policy, officials say.
Nashawn Craig, a high school student at Romulus (Mich.) Community Schools, produces a video about stopping for the school bus. The video depicts a mother who runs a stop arm and strikes her daughter after she exits her bus.
The New York school bus driver notices sparking in the engine compartment, sees smoke and flames, and safely evacuates the students. Police call him a hero.
The Louisiana girl misses her stop, and the driver fails to notice her and parks the bus at a store. The driver is fired after the incident.
The state’s pre-licensing course and test for general driver applicants would cover the law on stopping for school buses. NYSBCA supports the proposal.
A fire marshal determines that an electrical malfunction started the fire in the engine of one bus and then spread to four others at Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD.
Walter Holden of North Carolina reportedly drives around a curve and off the road, overcorrects, and the bus tips over. Five of the six students aboard receive minor injuries.
The state fire marshal is investigating the Wednesday night blaze at Coldspring-Oakhurst’s bus yard, but authorities say no foul play is suspected.
The Texas bus is bringing students home from a trip to Walt Disney World when it drives off a road and plunges into a ravine, killing the driver and injuring several students.
The New York Association for Pupil Transportation asks the state Legislature to authorize stop-arm cameras to enforce state law, which prohibits motorists from passing stopped school buses.
Winners will receive up to $50,000 worth of Zonar fleet management technology.
The students and adults, returning from a field trip, evacuated and were not injured. The bus was equipped with lap-shoulder belts.
Bill Wakefield joins the senior leadership team for the supplier of school bus LED lighting.