One-day survey shows 1,500 school bus passing violations
November 5, 2013
A one-day survey conducted nationally highlighted a disturbing fact — too many people pass stopped school buses.
The survey, coordinated by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation, asked public school districts in every state to have bus drivers record passing data for one day last spring. On May 1, Washington had 3,588 bus drivers in 110 districts participate, and they recorded 1,523 violations.
“Passing stopped school buses remains a serious problem,” Randy Dorn, Washington’s superintendent of public instruction, said in a press release. “Every violation represents a potential accident and potential injury to a student.”
In the Issaquah School District, bus drivers recorded 39 passing violations.
The survey had drivers record not only the number of vehicles that passed their stopped bus, but when the passing occurred, the side of the road it occurred on, and the side of the bus it occurred on.
Twenty-nine states responded to the survey, with a total of 85,279 violations nationwide.
Extrapolating Washington’s data for all 295 districts over the 180-day school year, Dorn noted, would mean nearly 550,000 violations.
While no Washington students have died from stopped-bus incidents in 2011 or 2012, Dorn said he hopes the data will convince districts to look at the installation of on-board bus cameras.
“Legislation was passed in 2011 that gave districts the authority to place cameras in buses so that pictures can be taken of the violators and they can be ticketed,” Dorn said.