Thursday, December 9, 2004
That's Just Wrong: School Bus Safety
More than 20 million children ride the school bus to and from school every day in the united states. Experts say it's one of the safest forms of transportation. But some South Florida high school students disagree. They say what's happening on their bus is just wrong.
WSVN -- A school bus crash in Palm Beach County kills one student.
A car collides with a bus full of special needs students in Miramar.
In the past month, there have been a number of school bus crashes in South Florida.
So many - 15-year-olds Dustin Albanese and Brian Kirsch are scared when they ride the bus to their Boca Raton high school.
Brian Kirsch: "In the beginning of the year I had to stand three of four times and it was bad because you have to stand, you always have to hold on.
Dustin Albanese: "I almost fell over the one time and it's really dangerous, especially when he makes sudden stops and turns."
Brian and Dustin say the problem is there are too many kids to ride.
Students either end up sitting on each other's laps or standing in the aisle.
Brian: "Kids are way too big to have to sit three to a seat. If I have to sit two a seat I am even cramped."
Dustin: "I believe if the bus stops short everybody is going to go flying one day. It's definitely wrong. Hopefully this can be changed."
Here you can see for yourself a picture taken by someone on brian and dustin's bus of a student standing. Palm beach County's transportation director says that's a no-no.
Palm Beach County Transportation Director Bob Riley: "Palm Beach County policy is that never does a bus move with students standing. If there ever is a situation going on where students are standing on a bus then I need to know about it. We want our buses to be filled, close to capacity but never overfilled."
When we brought the problem to the county's school bus director of transportation, he told us he hadn't received any complaints.
He says parents need to report the problem.
Bob Riley: "All we need for anything of that type is a report, a bus number and a location and we will look into it within 24 hours and respond."
But Brian and Dustin say they have complained to one of their school's assistant vice principals.
For a week, they had a bigger bus, but not anymore.
Brian's parents have also registered a complaint with the county's director of transportation, but are still waiting for an answer.
The students and their parents hope a bigger bus or an additional one will be added to their route in the very near future.
Brian's father Steven Kirsch: "Our goal is to get a bus that can accommodate all of the children or to get an additional bus with none of them standing. Standing is not acceptable."
Dustin: "Hopefully we can have something done."
Brian: "I want to see that we either get a new bus or get us a newer bus that has more seats, wider seats."
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