Local: Education

DC school buses run red lights and speed, investigation finds

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DC,Education,Transportation,Watchdog,The Washington Post,Kelly Cohen

School bus drivers in the District of Columbia are often caught speeding and running red lights by traffic cameras, according an investigation by the Washington Post.

D.C. school bus drivers racked up 327 traffic camera tickets from January 2009 to March 2013, costing nearly $35,000 in fines, district records show.

Of the almost 330 tickets, only about a dozen of the ticketed bus drivers paid the fines. None faced disciplinary action.

"The buses received tickets at a per-mile rate that was 16 times more frequent than the city’s fleet of Metro buses and other Metro vehicles, and was akin to the rate of city police vehicles,” according to analysis of data by the Post.

More than 20 of the drivers caught speeding and running red lights also had crashed their school buses at some point, injuring people in four of those accidents, the Post analysis of city records found.

One driver was photographed speeding and running red lights six times in one month; another five times in five months.

Though District officials said they were unsure whether efforts were made to identifying the responsible bus drivers, the Post was able to identify them by reviewing school bus logs obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

D.C. education officials didn’t have policies in place to discipline the offenders, the Post found.

The newspaper began asking about traffic violations last year, prompting new city rules that terminate school bus drivers caught speeding more than 15 mph over the limit.

Read the full article here.

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