Tacoma (Wash.) Public Schools officials say that vehicle crashes have occurred when buses were required to stop at the crossing, which trains use infrequently and at low speeds.
Houston Independent School District’s back-to-school transportation training program includes hands-on drills in railroad crossing safety, gang awareness, student management, hurricane preparedness and other topics. As Transportation General Manager Nathan Graf puts it, “It was not your typical training.”
An investigation conducted by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada into the March 26, 2013, collision in Carlyle, Saskatchewan, found that the driver was likely distracted by tasks associated with road traffic and pedestrian activity near the crossing at the time of the accident. The school bus’ frame (A-pillar) and side mirror adjacent to the door also obstructed the driver’s view and concealed the train when the driver looked for a train.
In Norwalk, Conn., a school bus reportedly experiences a mechanical malfunction as it is crossing railroad tracks, leaving it stranded. The bus driver evacuates the 40 elementary students on board, and the operator of an approaching commuter train is able to stop 10 feet before the bus.
A monument is unveiled in South Jordan, Utah, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the accident, in which the bus driver and 23 students were killed after the train struck the bus as it crossed railroad tracks. The accident reportedly led to a nationwide law requiring buses to stop at all railroad crossings so the driver can both look and listen for oncoming trains.
The driver for a Louisiana district was placed on administrative leave after receiving a citation for driving around lowered railroad crossing guards in front of an oncoming train. At least 30 students were on the bus. Officials say the train was about 200 feet from the intersection when the bus crossed the tracks.
The Superior, Wis., officer will be cited for inattentive driving in the incident, according to the police chief. No children were on the bus at the time.
An inattentive driver and faulty brakes were the probable cause of a fatal accident in which a heavy commercial truck struck a passenger train in the Nevada desert last year, the National Transportation Safety Board finds.
On Dec. 14, 1961, Duane Harms drove his school bus into the path of a passenger train, which he reportedly didn't see coming. Twenty children were killed in the crash near Greeley, Colo.
Officials from Operation Lifesaver say that the improving economy may have contributed to the increase in vehicle-train and pedestrian-train collisions, deaths and injuries last year.
Christina Wisecarver, who worked for an Ohio district, faces one count of driving across a grade crossing. Last month, she drove her school bus across an intersection as a train approached. Five high school students were on board the bus at the time of the incident.
A police investigation reveals that during the incident in Milton, Ontario, the bus driver looked and listened for train traffic, then started moving the bus forward. Signals began to alert the arrival of a train, so the driver stopped immediately. A Canadian Pacific Railway employee who witnessed the incident confirmed that the bus was several meters away from the used service tracks and no one was in any danger.
Bomb threats. A bus stalling on train tracks. Even a spider outbreak? A veteran transportation director discusses the challenges and the excitement of a career in the school bus industry — along with some fascinating anecdotes.