0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart

      News — school bus news

      NJ school buses could soon have cameras to help ticket cars

      NJ school buses could soon have cameras to help ticket cars

      Since 2014, a total of 9,455 tickets have been issued to drivers in New Jersey for passing a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing as students are getting on or off.

      Police acknowledge the actual number of violations is probably much higher because officers are not watching every school bus in the Garden State.

      Now that kids are back in class, a new effort is moving forward to pass legislation that would allow video cameras to be mounted on the sides of school buses to ensure all drivers that pass a stopped school bus are ticketed.

      A measure sponsored by Assemblyman Rob Karabinchak, D-Middlesex, would authorize the use of a school bus monitoring system to identify drivers who do not stop for school buses, and send them a ticket in the mail.

      He said there is no excuse for not stopping for a school bus with flashing lights.

      “This is something I feel extremely strong about," he said. "Our students safety is paramount.”

      He pointed out younger children and even older ones may not look around them to see if there is any traffic, so “our drivers should have a higher priority that when you’re near a bus."

      The measure calls for stiff fines: $250 for a first offense and up to $500 and community service for subsequent violations.

      Karabinchak said tough penalties for drivers are needed because “they’re not paying attention."

      "There’s so many distractions today with drivers, whether they’re on their phone, whether there’s somebody else in the car," he said.

      “This should be something that is taught to young adults that are just getting their licenses, people that are coming from other places that are getting their licenses.”

      Under the proposed legislation, if a ticket is issued for passing a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing, there would be a monetary fine but no points added to the driver’s record.

      If a police officer witnesses a driver passing a school bus, the penalty is a $100 fine, possible community service and even jail time for no longer than 15 days, and five points added to the driver’s record.

      Legislation was introduced to allow video monitoring on the sides of school buses a few years ago, but those efforts got bogged down because of concerns about cost.

      However, the cost of video monitoring continues to drop and Karabinchak is confident the Legislature will approve the measure in the coming session.

      Read More: NJ school buses could soon have cameras to help ticket cars | https://wobm.com/nj-school-buses-could-soon-have-cameras-to-help-ticket-cars/?fbclid=IwAR18XZstcFH_E1JG4XdQ2m3enSZCtM7BS0Sb8MUtA9WhJoRaa2sW8XT1rGE&utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

      Driver dead, 8 children injured in school bus crash in Benton County, Miss.

      Driver dead, 8 children injured in school bus crash in Benton County, Miss.

      BENTON COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - A school bus driver is dead and at least eight children were injured in a crash in Benton County, Mississippi Tuesday morning.

      The crash happened before 8 a.m. near Highway 72 and Whippoorwill Road. According to the Mississippi Highway Patrol, the driver, William “Chester” Cole, died at the scene.

      Eight children were on board and all of them suffered varying injuries. According to Dr. Regan Williams, Trauma Medical Director at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, says their doctors treated all eight children. Four were brought in by air ambulance, two by ground ambulance and two more by private vehicle.

      Williams says the injuries to the four children who were airlifted are considered serious but not critical. They are being admitted to the hospital. The other four children suffered minor injuries and will likely go home Tuesday.

      David Loyd spoke with WMC Action News 5 at Le Bonheur. He says his stepdaughter, 13-year-old Halie Williams, was one of the children injured in the crash. He says she suffered a broken jaw, broken leg and broken ankle. Still, Loyd says he’s grateful her injuries weren’t any worse.

      “I’m just going to give her great big old hug and tell her that I’m glad she’s alright,” said Loyd.

      It’s unclear what caused the crash, but the bus rolled over on the side of the road. Benton County Schools Superintendent Steve Bostick says he believes the driver had some kind of medical emergency but authorities have not commented on that.

      According to the Benton County Coroner Larry Hobson, Cole reportedly grabbed his chest and slumped over in the seat before the crash. Hobson says it’s likely Cole experienced a cardiac event. It’s not clear though if he died before or as a result of the crash.

      Bostick says Cole worked for the district for five years, calling him trusted and dependable.

      No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

      Follow: https://www.wlox.com/2019/09/10/driver-killed-children-injured-school-bus-crash-benton-county-miss

      Florida 5-year-old girl dozes off on school bus, wakes up in garage

      Florida 5-year-old girl dozes off on school bus, wakes up in garage

      PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pasco County, Florida mother wants someone held accountable after she says her child recently fell asleep on a school bus and woke up in a bus garage.

      Alexis Hughes contacted WFLA, saying that her 5-year-old daughter Kensley was on her way from Cox Elementary to Pasco Elementary for an after school program on August 27. All of her classmates got off the bus, but Kensley was fast asleep inside.

      A spokeswoman for Pasco County Schools says the child was discovered after the bus went to its final destination, the bus garage.

      Although they admit procedures were not followed at Pasco Elementary, the spokeswoman insists the child was never left alone and that her safety was never in jeopardy.

      WFLA is digging into what went wrong and getting results. While there were two adults on the bus that day, only one was facing consequences until we started asking questions.

      “There is no room for error, absolutely zero, when it comes to children,” said Hughes.

      Hughes says her daughter is ordinarily rambunctious but always falls asleep in moving vehicles.

      “From point A to point B at some time, she had fallen asleep,” said Hughes.

      “I don’t know how long and I don’t know when.”

      The spokeswoman claimed the mistake was made at Pasco Elementary and that the driver and the aid didn’t realize Kensely missed her stop.

      We’re told a complete inspection was conducted at the bus garage approximately a mile away from the school. Kensley was discovered and returned to the after school program.

      “It angers me and it upsets me,” said Hughes.

      Hughes was told the bus assistant resigned but there was no update on the driver. She wanted full accountability, so she called 8 On Your Side Investigates.

      We called the district with questions.

      “What if any repercussions will the bus driver face?” asked investigative reporter Mahsa Saeidi. The spokeswoman said, the driver was not a regular and the aide was responsible for ensuring the kids got off the bus that day.

      “That’s crazy,” said Hughes.

      “Don’t tell me you can’t take on two tasks at once, driving a kid safely in a bus and also being aware that they’re off the bus,” she said.

      WFLA asked for the official school bus handbook.

      On page 37, the district lists its No Child on Board (Red Tag) Procedure. It states it’s a critical duty to ensure all kids are off the bus. It is the responsibility of both the driver and the assistant.

      We contacted the district again with this information. The spokeswoman said the driver’s discipline had not been completed but it’s in process.

      Here’s the full text of No Child on Board (Red Tag) Procedure:

      One of the most critical aspects of Driver and Transportation Assistant duties is to ensure that all students have departed the bus. After every run and upon returning to the compound, the Driver and the Transportation Assistant must conduct a complete inspection to verify that there is no child left on board. A complete inspection will include looking in and under the seats or anywhere that a child might hide or have fallen asleep. This is done by physically walking the length of the bus and checking. This should be done after each group of students has been dropped off. Never leave the bus unattended unless you are positive there is no student on board. It is the responsibility of both the Driver and the Transportation Assistant to ensure that no child is ever left unattended on a bus.”

      Late Friday, the spokeswoman told 8 On Your Side this clause only applies at the end of a shift when the driver and the assistant are back at the bus garage. Right now, WFLA is still waiting for clarification about the exact procedure required at the stops prior to the bus garage.

      Meantime, Hughes has taken her daughter off the shuttle bus, and Kensley is at a new school.

      There is a video of the incident, but a spokeswoman says it’s not available for release at this time due to potential litigation.

      4-year-old boy getting off of school bus hit, dragged by pick-up truck in hit-and-run

      4-year-old boy getting off of school bus hit, dragged by pick-up truck in hit-and-run

      PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — A 4-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after he was hit by a pick-up truck and left in the road, according to WFLA.

      It was the end of his ninth day at school when Joseph Soto was getting off the bus at the wrong stop.

      That’s when witnesses say a blue Chevy S-10 or similar vehicle hit him and dragged him down the street.

      “I waited at his bus stop like I was supposed to,” the boy’s mother, Jennifer Moore, told WFLA. “His bus came and he never got off the bus.”

      The bus driver gave Moore a ride to the last stop where she saw her son, lying there in the road, surrounded by people.

      “When I turned the corner, my son was laying in the middle of the road with a group of people around him because a truck hit him and took off,” Moore said.

      The boy was taken to a hospital and reportedly remembers what happened.

      Joseph had stopped and looked both ways before crossing the street, WFLA reports. It wasn’t until he was already partway across when he saw the truck.

      The boy tried to sprint the rest of the distance, but he wasn’t fast enough.

      “He said, ‘Mommy, it didn’t slow down and it knocked me over and dragged me on the ground and then I fell asleep,'” Moore said.

      'Go!' | Lost 1st grader told to get off the school bus blocks from her home

      'Go!' | Lost 1st grader told to get off the school bus blocks from her home

      A North Carolina couple is upset a bus driver forced their child to get off at the wrong stop, because she was the last one on the bus.

      Brittany Copeland and Arnold Johnson are thankful their 6-year-old daughter Laylah is okay. They know things could've taken a turn for the worst.

      "This could be a totally different interview right now," Copeland said tearfully.

      Copeland says her first grader was told to get off the bus, since she was the last one on. Even though little Laylah told the driver she didn't see her home, or parents. 

      "How she explained it, how he said it, he said just 'go!' So she's six years old, she's going to get off the bus," Copeland said. 

      Laylah was about three blocks from her house, and she didn't know where she was. "She said she was nervous and crying," Johnson said.

      Then, an act of kindness. A stranger, who happened to be a security guard just getting off work, spotted lost Laylah. "She ran up to her said 'hey are you the police I’m lost I don’t know where I am, the bus driver just told me to get off the bus he said 'go go,"' Johnson reenacted.  

      Johnson said she was smart enough to only go up to someone in uniform. But still, anything could've happened. "Anybody could have picked her up, there are so many cases where kids come up missing for little mistakes like this," Copeland said with tears in her eyes. 

      The parents hail the security guard, who wants to remain anonymous, as a hero. The security guard drover Laylah back to Joyner Elementary. It's something the parents said the bus driver should have done. 

      "With a 6-year-old telling you 'I don't see my parents, this is not where I stay,' why not take her back to the school why leave her somewhere she's unfamiliar?"

      Copeland and Johnson said they wanted to share their story so this doesn't happen to another family. "We just want parents to be on more of an alert when it comes to their children, school buses, and these bus drivers."

      Guilford County Schools responded with a statement that reads:

      “Guilford County Schools would like to apologize for any concern this situation caused our student and the family. Appropriate district protocols were not followed, and the driver has been removed from the bus pending further investigation.” – Nora Carr, Chief of Staff