Another School Bus Accident Leading to Concern

Another week, another collision involving a school bus in the Midlands.

A bus taking 10 Richland County students to Hopkins Middle School was rear ended by a 1997 Ford truck around 7:45 a.m. Monday morning. The accident occurred at the intersection of Bitternut Road and Ostrey Lane. Three children were sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

It is the third crash in two weeks involving a Midlands school bus. Some parents WACH Fox spoke with say they are not concerned.

But South Carolina Department of Education Transportation Director Tim Camp said it is a disturbing trend in the Palmetto State.

"We probably have one a week. We have 6,000 vehicles traveling the roads every day."

Camp said each bus is equipped with an eight way warning system featuring yellow and red lights to control traffic, strobe lights for increased visibility, and two emergency exits. New bus models have four exits. But the most important key is driver training.

"They are trained constantly on bus evacuations that is held once a year in each school in the event of an accident."

the training lasts 20 hours, 10 of which are behind the wheel. Drivers must be re-certified every two and a half years. But the department wants to do more.

"We are constantly doing more in services and trainings across the state with all the drivers. Our manufacturers are constantly trying to come up with new, creative ways to make the buses safer, more visible to the general public."

The recent incidents are all under investigation, and authorities are not yet blaming the school bus drivers in any of the crashes. Camp urges drivers to be mindful of school buses by keeping a two to three car distance behind them and observing all signs.