The recent fatal school bus crash in Chattanooga has school districts across the nation assessing the safety of their own school buses, drivers and school transportation programs. WLOS ABC News Channel 13 recently reported on some efforts going on in Canton. In North Carolina, school buses have to be checked by a licensed inspector every 30 days. Additionally, school buses in North Carolina are not to exceed speeds of 45 miles per hour. Some districts are adding cameras on the inside and outside of buses to help improve accountability in the event of a wreck or other potentially injury-causing incident. Although these measures certainly help to improve school bus safety, taking the bus to and from school isn't totally without risk.
With the new school year starting, Buncombe County officials are calling on parents, caregivers, motorists and students to make safety a top priority around bus stops. While school buses are designed and built to transport children to and from school safely, they're not completely without risk, and there are some important concerns to discuss with children and drivers to improve overall bus stop safety this year. WLOS ABC News Channel 13 recently reported on the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office's safety message to drivers around Asheville. They're reminding drivers in Buncombe County to exercise caution wherever children might be present, and especially around bus stops.
Thanks to the installation of cameras on the sides of school buses in Buncombe County, the rate of convictions for school bus passing violators has gone up from 25 to 50 percent. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, prior to the cameras, school bus drivers had to write down license plates, if they were able to. Even when passers were tracked down, conviction rates were incredibly low. Now that they have photographic evidence, violators are going to be held accountable for endangering the lives of children.