Red-light cameras capture dozens of Wake school buses
Each day, 800,000 public school students across the state take the bus to school. Parents expect school bus drivers to obey the rules, but WRAL Investigates found that doesn't always happen.Posted — Updated
Some of the buses went through the intersections as late as two, three and four seconds after the light turned red while driving 10 mph over the speed limit.
“It’s extremely concerning,” said parent Jason Goodman, who has three children in the Wake County school system. “I expect the driver to follow the rules of the road ... If I put my child on the bus and I see pictures of a bus clearly running a red light by several seconds, they’re putting my kids in danger."
Raleigh is the only city in Wake County with red-light cameras. Currently, 15 intersections are monitored, and most are only monitored in one direction. Once administrative and operational costs are covered by the city for its red-light camera program, the rest of the money goes to the school system.
While all the red-light photos were snapped in Raleigh, several of the buses WRAL Investigates tracked served schools in Cary and Morrisville. Some photos showed school buses turning right on red lights, which buses aren't supposed to do.
Wake County public schools declined WRAL Investigates' repeated requests for an interview. Instead, spokesman Bill Poston released a statement:
"WCPSS has 900 bus drivers transporting students 100,000 miles a day to and from school. Any traffic violation or accident in which a driver is involved is taken seriously and reviewed by transportation managers. Drivers are held accountable for their actions. In the case of red light camera violations, drivers receive a reprimand, pay the fine and face appropriate disciplinary action."
When a WCPSS school bus is involved in a red-light camera violation, the following steps occur, according to the school system:
- The driver is notified of the incident via a letter of discipline.
- The district reviews the cases and looks at an employee’s complete history when evaluating disciplinary action. They are all handled on a case-by-case basis.
- The district can recommend termination where poor performance and serious driving errors warrant.
- Drivers are required to pay their own fines arising from the traffic violation.
Wake County school bus red-light tickets: 2013-14
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