The Dallas County School District announced yesterday that is has fired or suspended several hundred bus drivers for violating basic traffic laws. The people paid to safely get children to and from school had racked up 480 traffic citations for failing to stop for red lights or stopped buses just in the last two years.
That’s a startling 10 percent of all Dallas school bus drivers.
Running a red light is inexcusable for any driver, but for a bus driver, it’s outrageous.
Not only did the Dallas school bus drivers put children and other motorists at risk and allow these reckless drivers to continue driving for years, but the school district paid $80,000.00 for their traffic tickets. Dallas County citizens got stuck paying these traffic tickets with money that could have used for schoolbooks, lunches or teachers’ salaries. The district didn’t even bother to ask the drivers to reimburse the city or reprimand them for their recklessness.
However if you or I drive around a bus with the stop arm extended we can get hit with a $300 – $1,000 fine. School bus drivers, who should know better than anyone the dangers to children, paid zero.
In response to the investigation, two high-level managers were fired for failing to properly oversee the bus drivers. The Dallas School District also announced a new once-and-done rule in which any bus driver caught passing a bus that has its stop arm extended faces immediate dismissal. Bus drivers will also have to pay back the fines. Finally.
NBC Investigates uncovered hundreds of traffic videos that showed the school buses flying through busy intersections. The videos showed several near misses with other motorists.
Thank goodness for the red light camera program. Negligent bus drivers would still be putting kids and motorists in harm’s way had they not been caught on camera.
Just a few weeks ago the City Council debated whether to extend the Safe Light red-light camera program. One city council member proposed killing the program. The City Council made the right decision to renew the contract for another year. Let’s keep the cameras rolling. Fort Worth nearly killed the program.
Drivers in cars and trucks running red lights killed 709 people and injured 126,000 in 2014.
When the light turns green, you sure don’t expect a school bus to come hurling at you. Any crash can can be serious, but a collision with a bus can cause catastrophic injuries because of its heavy weight and huge size.
Berenson Injury Law has helped thousands of motorists and pedestrians injured by red light runners over the past 36 years. The careless act of trying to beat the light puts others in jeopardy. If you have unfortunately been injured in a car or truck accident, we can help you.