As reported as part of an investigation by the Colorado news team at KOAA 5 News, school buses in a local school district there are getting into an alarming number of accidents.
According to the news agency, bus drivers for two school districts in Pueblo, Colorado, have gotten into 41 accidents over the last few years, and more than half of those were the fault of the driver. In addition, news team investigators discovered that some drivers received red light violations and were endangering students.
The agreement between the bus company, First Student, and the school districts requires the company to report any accidents but does not mandate the reporting of “near misses.” In red light camera footage acquired by the news team, a bus driver from one of the districts is seen speeding through a red light while another vehicle with a green light had to stop to avoid a crash. While the driver in that video did receive a ticket, the school district was never notified because of the contract terms. There is no way to know how often bus drivers run red lights in the City of Pueblo because only three of the 150 intersections there have cameras, but 5 News found that at least six drivers ran red lights on camera over the last three years.
Luckily, none of the reported accidents resulted in serious injuries, although in one of the incidents, the bus driver lost control and hit a power pole, which resulted in four injured students and a ticket to the bus driver. 5 News brought its findings to the attention of the superintendents of both school districts, and now both professionals are requesting that the school bus company notify the school of any incidents with drivers, whether there is an accident or nearly an accident, because of unsafe driving behavior. The news agency also attempted to interview a bus company representative to find out about the driving training, but the request was denied. Two bus drivers who were seen running red lights on the video footage obtained by the news agency are no longer working with First Student, but News 5 was unable to determine if that was related to the tickets they received.
About the red light cameras
In the City of Pueblo, running red lights results in a $75 fine. While this fine is issued as a “ticket,” it is actually a civil penalty violation. This means that admitting to the violation and paying the ticket will not result in points on a driver’s license. First Student reports that a person can’t drive for their company any longer once they have six points on their license, but these repeated red-light incidents will not push a driver out the door, no matter how dangerous they might be.
A bus accident can result in serious injuries for everyone involved. If you have been hurt because of a bus driver’s reckless or negligent behavior, speak to an auto accident lawyer Denver CO relies on about your rights today.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Offices of Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into personal injury cases.