After video of a school bus speeding through a deeply flooded water crossing this morning near Washington, D.C., I am bumping this piece from early in the 2018 school year.
The Washington, DC, video is here.
INVESTIGATIVE REPORT: School bus drivers endanger children's lives by driving through flash floods. Will it take fatalities and law suits for this epidemic to end?
One of the commenters regarding today's (July 8, 2019) video replied,
I recommended they watch this video:
Note the bright yellow sign at right between the gate and the utility pole.
It is a flood warning sign.
Another school bus, with a student and driver on board, has been carried downstream in rapidly flowing floodwaters. They had to be rescued. The driver was arrested and charged with endangerment.
The dashcam video reveals the driver went around a warning sign (arrow).
--- Original Report Below ---
We are less than two months into the 2018-19 school year and I have noticed something that should concern parents and society as a whole:
At least once a week, a school bus has become
trapped in floodwaters.
|Raytown (MO) school bus. "Kansas City Star" photo.|
- Mount Joy, Penn. 9/1
- New Castle, Del. 9/10
- Dobbinsville, Del. 9/10
- Hillsborough, NC 9/17
- Stamford, Conn. 9/25
- Raytown, Mo. 10/8
- Wichita, Kans. 10/9
- Austin, Tex. 10/17 (added to list)
Just four years ago, we had an extremely serious situation near Wichita where the bus was overturned and carried downstream (below) by the swift current.
If this continues, eventually someone is going to drown.
The number of cases suggests they are not isolated occurrences. In fact, there were at least two examples the end of the 2017-18 school year, one in May and one in June.
It is hard to understand why these are occurring. We know, in the United States, 76% of flood deaths are associated with automobiles. Thus, the "turn around, don't drown" campaign of the National Weather Service. It seems simplistic to think bus drivers are uniquely filtering out that message. It is possible that because school buses ride higher than ordinary autos the drivers believe they can make it safely through floodwaters.
Time for action.
School bus drivers cannot continue to risk their lives and the lives of children in their charge.
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