Local News

Statistics Show Triangle School Bus Accidents More Frequent

Posted Updated

RALEIGH — July 19, 1996 - 4:50 p.m. EDT

At a time when Triangle school administrators are scrambling to keep up with growth, statistics show that the incidence of school bus accidents is on the increase..

In the most recent school year the accident rate was up, sometimes dramatically.

School bus drivers say an accident can happen in a split second.

Wake County bus driver Lillie Dunn says increased traffic in the area is one factor that causes more accidents. Another, she says is negligent drivers.

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Central North Carolina's fastest growing areas are seeing the most increases. Durham and Wake Counties, both of which operate extensive magnet and year-round programs, saw the biggest hike.

The districts with the largest increases also have buses covering the most miles. Those are also the areas having the hardest time recruiting qualified drivers.

Assistant Transportation Director Wyatt Curren says recruited drivers must undergo extensive training before the Division of Motor Vehicles will allow them behind a school bus wheel.

But, Curren admits some drivers, some of whom work part-time, can get complacent.

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The Department of Public Instruction says as growth continues, the accident rate will likely grow with it.

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