After reviewing traffic citations and camera evidence, Dallas County Schools in Texas has fired 13 school bus drivers and suspended an additional 229 drivers for five to nine days without pay.
A recent investigation by NBC 5 found that Dallas County Schools bus drivers have received 480 traffic tickets since the beginning of 2014.
The citations were issued for various traffic violations, such as running red lights and passing other buses that were picking up or dropping off students. Some of these illegal traffic maneuvers were even caught on camera.
The NBC 5 investigation did not reveal how often children were aboard buses while drivers committed traffic violations, but it does not matter because these actions put other drivers at risk.
Dallas County Schools’ Board President Larry Duncan was outraged by the actions of the bus drivers and by the fact that officials did not attempt to track down the bus drivers who received traffic citations. Officials simply paid the traffic tickets with $80,000 of taxpayer money.
Duncan stated that there was no excuse for the initial response to the bus drivers’ actions, but officials are making systemic changes to ensure that something like this never happens again.
Duncan also told NBC 5 that two senior managers were demoted for their failure to follow district procedures in this matter.
Bus driver suspensions will be staggered so they will not disrupt the bus system. The firings and suspensions affect approximately 10 percent of the county’s bus drivers.
The school district is demanding that bus drivers reimburse them for the fines that were paid with taxpayer money.
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