News 9 Researches Local School Bus Accidents

Monday, August 5th 2013, 12:59 pm
By: News 9

It's the time of the year we warn drives to watch out for school buses, but sometimes it's the other way around.

Over the summer, News 9 poured through hundreds of traffic accident reports obtained from local school districts to find out how many school buses have been involved in accidents and how many of those accidents were the fault of the bus driver.

These are the results:

Oklahoma City Public Schools

Oklahoma City is currently using a little more than 200 buses to take students to and from school.

In 2011, there were 14 accidents involving an Oklahoma City Public Schools bus. Five of those accidents were due to bus driver negligence, according to school records.

In 2012, a total of 22 accidents involving a school bus were reported. Eight of those accidents were the fault of the bus driver, according to school records.

So far this year, a total of 10 buses have been involved in an accident.

A report obtained by News 9 in January shows Oklahoma City Public Schools has 174 bus drivers. Over the last three years, three of those drivers have been issued a citation for a traffic violation.

A spokeswoman told us the school district did not retain copies of the citations and that "corrective actions" were taken against those drivers.

Recently, the school district purchased GPS-based tracking software for all school the price of $321,700 from a business called Synovia Solutions based in Indianapolis. The software is able to track each school bus in real-time and log its speed, direction and how many stops each bus makes.

If at any time any bus travels faster than 60 miles per hour, a special alert is sent to the Oklahoma City Public School Transportation Department.

Scott Lane, Director of Transportation for Oklahoma City Public Schools, says every driver receives several hours of training each year for professional development and safety.

Edmond Public Schools

School buses traveled more than 1.8 million miles last year to pick up and drop off students in the Edmond school district. During the last three years, two drivers resigned and another was fired for having too many traffic violations on record.

In the last three years, 42 accidents involving school buses have been reported in Edmond. Nearly all those were due to negligence by the bus driver. A majority of the accidents reports were due to buses hitting parked cars and mail boxes. A spokeswoman for the district says all drivers involved in accidents are reviewed and subject to discipline.

Putnam City Public Schools

In the last three years, no citations have been issued to any bus driver in the Putnam City school bus driver, but more than two dozen accidents have been reported.

During the 2011, there were a dozen school bus crashes reported and 9 were the fault of the driver. One person was injured in one of the accidents.

During the 2012 school calendar, 13 accidents involving school buses were reported and eight drivers were at fault, according to reports.

This year there have been five accidents and all of them are said to have happened due to something the bus driver did wrong, according to records.

Many of these accidents involved moving buses that hit parked vehicles. In at least one case, the victim had to chase the bus driver following a hit-and-run accident.

Norman Public Schools

In the last three years, 36 school buses have been involved in accidents. Nineteen of those accidents were the fault of the bus driver, according to accident reports provided by the school district.

During the same time, three of the drivers were disciplined and six were issued traffic citations.

Moore Public Schools

In 2011, one school bus hit another school bus in Moore.

There were also 10 other accidents in 2011 involving school buses. Three of those were not the fault of the bus driver.

In 2012, all six school bus accidents in Moore were the fault of the bus driver.

This year, there have been six bus accidents reported. Half of those were not the fault of the bus driver.

Stillwater Public Schools

Records provided by Stillwater did not state who was at fault in the bus accidents.

We do know zero citations were issued to drivers from 2011-present.

In 2011, six school bus accidents were reported with one injury.

In 2012, seven school bus accidents were reported with no injuries.

In 2013, four school bus accidents were reported with no injuries.

Chickasha Public Schools

School bus routes in Chickasha covered more than 193,000 miles in the 2011-2012 school calendar.

During that time, one school bus accident was reported. There was a fatality reported in that crash.

On October 15, 2012, emergency crews responded to the collision just before 4 p.m. in the area of U.S. Highway 62 and State Highway 39. According to the Grady County Emergency Manager, a pickup truck crashed into the back of a school bus. Officials confirmed the driver of the pickup truck was killed. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol confirmed that no one on the school bus was injured.

In 2010-2011 school calendar, there was only one school bus accident reported. So far this year, no school bus collisions have occurred.

Enid Public Schools

In the last three years, four of Enid's school buses have been involved in traffic collisions. Three of those accidents occurred this year. In two of the accidents, the drivers of the school bus were at fault and both received a traffic citation from police.

Guthrie Public Schools

In 2011, three school buses in Guthrie were involved in a traffic accident.

In 2012, seven buses were involved in an accident.

This year, four accidents involving a Guthrie Public Schools bus were reported by the district.

El Reno

El Reno reported no school bus accidents from 2011-present.

News 9 request similar information from the following school districts who failed to respond to our requests:

Mid-Del Schools
Western Heights
Choctaw / Nicoma Park
Deer Creek