Sussex Co. School Bus Drivers Concerned after Recent Accidents - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex Co. School Bus Drivers Concerned after Recent Accidents

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SUSSEX COUNTY, Del.- School bus drivers in Sussex County are asking drivers to be more aware after recent school bus accidents

Gerald Dutton says eight of his buses have been in accidents in the past two months, six caused by other drivers.

"A couple of them that I've witnessed, cars just act like the bus isn't even there and just pull right out in front of the school bus with kids on there," he says.

Dutton's observations are in line with statistics from the Delaware Department of Education. The DOE says it surveyed 1,108 bus drivers on May 4. Those surveyed reported 572 illegal passes, eight of which were on the right side of the bus. The DOE says 296 illegal passes were from drivers passing the bus from behind and that 294 illegal passes occurred during morning bus runs. 

"I am not saying the bus driver is perfect, by any means," Dutton says. "We try to do our best to get our kids to and from school safely but it's becoming a little bit more of a challenge."

Some parents like Dyanna Lamora hope drivers slow down and remove distractions in the wake of the new numbers.

"These kids are our whole life," she says. "So let's pay extra attention because these are our precious gifts."

Vincent Modesto with the Butcher Block in downtown Milton has seen bus drivers taking what appears to be extra safety precautions.

"They block both lanes of traffic now," he explains. "So instead of just putting out the stop sign and pulling up, they actually pull through and block both sides and stop traffic physically with the bus, which is nice."

Dutton says his colleagues as far north as Wilmington are also reporting an uptick in accidents and dangerous driving around buses. He says public awareness will be crucial in keeping children on school buses safe. 

"Please pay attention to the red lights, the stop signs on the bus, and please pay attention to the kids getting on and off the bus," he says.

For more school bus safety tips from the Delaware State Police, click here

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