Durham: Students Safety A Concern At Bus Stops In Wichita Falls

Durham: Students Safety A Concern At Bus Stops In Wichita Falls

Wichita Falls, TX - Safety concerns at school bus stops in Wichita Falls have transportation officials at Durham School Services shedding light on a very common, but unsafe practice by some Texoma drivers.

About 1,600 students in Wichita Falls catch the bus to-and-from school each day.

Durham School Services officials said riding the bus remains the safest means of transportation for students, but there are some safety concerns bus drivers have with drivers when making their stops.

Bus operators often report Texoma drivers who are not following the rules of the road.

Brian Gibson, Transportation Director of Durham School Services told Newschannel 6 last week one of their drivers alerted him of an incident where a Texoma driver ran through a bus stop sign. Students getting on or off that bus were not injured, but Gibson said it's not an uncommon occurrence.

"At times throughout the year, we have a national initiative where we track the number of times a car wants to go through a stop sign when we're loading students and we've never done that without having multiple instances in one day," said Gibson.

The bus driver did take down the license plate of the vehicle and they are working with local law enforcement to crack down on this unsafe practice.

He said there are two parts of transportation -- getting students to and from school safely.

Gibson said when choosing bus stops and routes they strategically try and place them in the safest areas. For example, places that are the best lit, but says that is not always possible.

Tips for students:

* Use flashlights if catching bus before sunrise
* Wear bright clothing 
* Place reflectors on backpack

Gibson said those tips may help students alert vehicles of their presence at bus stops.

Unlike some other school districts in the state, Durham School Services buses do not have cameras that can identify when cars pass by when their stop signs are out.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6