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Children stuck on bus after stop-sign arm breaks

Posted October 5, 2009
Updated October 6, 2009

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— A school bus malfunction caused problems Monday afternoon and some Wake County students were kept on the vehicle for more than an hour.

Stop-sign arm malfunction stalls bus Stop-sign arm malfunction stalls bus

Amy Winsor, of Morrisville, said she became worried when her son's Panther Creek High School bus was late. She found the No. 204 bus parked on Parkside Valley and Corsair drives.

Winsor said the bus driver told her "that the stop sign on the side of the bus did not work, and she could not let them (students) off the bus."

Since the bus driver was not able to use the stop-sign arm, the children were not able to use the door, the driver told Winsor.

"But that is really very silly,” Winsor said.

Winsor said her son was kept on the bus even though her house was three blocks away.

“It is against the law to carry students on a bus if the stop arm is not functioning, so the bus driver pulled over,” school system spokesman Greg Thomas said.

Thomas said school officials sent someone to repair the bus after being notified of the problem.

“Unfortunately, it took significantly longer than anticipated to fix that stop arm,” Thomas said.

Some students were allowed off the bus when their parents arrived and showed ID. However, Winsor said she remains concerned that some parents didn’t know why their children were not home on time.

"The school didn't call our homes, I know that,” she said.

Thomas said the safest place for the students at the time was on the bus, not on an unfamiliar street.

"Better safe than sorry,” he said.

103 Comments

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  • Here kitty kitty Oct 6, 2009

    As a former bus driver, she did the absolute right thing. The majority probably had cell phones and could call home and let parents know anyway. We should be thanking the driver for being smart.

  • Redneck Fun Oct 6, 2009

    For those that say they could have just sent another bus:
    They were only there for 1 hour. Bus breaks, driver calls, mechanic has to travel to bus, then diagnose problem. At this point they can get another bus on the way or fix the sign. Chances are it was quicker or just as quick to fix the sign!! 1 hour is not that long!!
    By the way, the parents should have called the school if they were worried not the other way around. If there was an accident or something very bad had happened on the bus then the school should notify the parents. Nothing very bad here, except people complaining over someone actually doing the right thing.

  • superman Oct 6, 2009

    It just isnt smart to try to second guess every "what if". The kids remained safe and protected and the driver followed the law. The driver would have "acted stupidly" to let the kids off the bus and let them find their own way home. What a mess that could have been. Getting the kids home at the appointed time and minute was not an emergency. Getting them home safely was the most important issue.

  • clickclackity2 Oct 6, 2009

    Saw this on the news last night. Now if the mother's kindergarten-high school son had gotten hit by one these crazy drivers, she would've been on tv crying and lawyering up for a lawsuit.

  • leo-nc Oct 6, 2009

    "So yes, we can blame the driver"---

    Oh please, now you're just searching for something to blame the driver for. Go ahead and blame her for the rain, too. LOL

  • leo-nc Oct 6, 2009

    Ok, lets see if we can all get this through our thick skulls. Did the kids make it home safe? Yes, they did. End of story. Instead of whining like little girls, be thankful. I would be happy that my school bus driver had enough sense to keep my kid in a safe place until the issue could be resolved.

  • Hey yuall Oct 6, 2009

    Whine, Whine, Whine!!!!!

  • Adelinthe Oct 6, 2009

    "But that is really very silly,” Winsor said. Winsor said her son was kept on the bus even though her house was three blocks away."

    Winsor is the silly one; at least her child did arrive home safely, and that's what she should be focused on.

    What did she want, the driver to let the child off to walk home? Then she'd be whining about that.

    In truth though, I'm surprised the transportation department didn't send out another bus to transport the children home. That would have even been safer, cause then they wouldn't have been sitting on a bus on the side of the road, which may have been hit by another vehicle.

    Still...it all ended well, and that should be the focus.

    God bless.

    RB

  • TheAdmiral Oct 6, 2009

    "However, one must realize that the driver did what the driver thought right. So don't fault the driver."

    Actually, you can. If the bus is on an interstate and the bus driver realizes that his safety equipment is malfunctioning, I would expect the driver to get OFF the main road and on to a side street, rather than stopping the bus in the MIDDLE of the road.

    There are some things that are just common sense. Like many of these very poorly planned neighborhood with one lane, one way streets in them where if said bus were to stop - everyone in the neighborhood including fire equipment would not be able to enter.

    So yes, we can blame the driver.

  • TheAdmiral Oct 6, 2009

    I also agree with all of you. The parent should stop whining about equipment failure and start walking their child to the nearest school.

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