Community, Public Safety

Awareness Surrounding Bus Safety Spikes After 6 Student Fatalities Across the Country

Click play to learn about the growing problem of motor vehicles illegally passing stopped school busses.

Audio Transcript:

By Kendra Sheehan SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – In October alone, there were 6 student fatalities involving school bus passing violations. The deaths of these students sparked nationwide attention to an issue that school bus driver Randall Price said has always been an issue.

“Actually, from the first year I was driving, it was … you see it every day, cars passing, not really paying attention,” said Price. ” It’s coming out now, and because of the fatalities, I think more people are paying attention now, but it’s been like that ever since I’ve been driving.”

It is estimated that more than 50,000 motor vehicles illegally pass stopped school busses every day. Marketing Director of Pupil Transportation Safety Institute Antoinette Follett said its a problem that often leaves bus drivers powerless.

“There’s not enough enforcement, and school bus drivers on their own cannot do anything except try to slow down and keep visibility so that cars aren’t passing when the students are crossing,” said Follett.

In response to recent fatalities the New York State Education Department has chosen this year that the driver training tools for next school year are going to be completely focused on loading and unloading.

Safety officials want to remind people that unless there is a median, all lanes of traffic going either direction must stop when a school bus has its stop sign out and lights flashing.