School buses see spike in delays, crashes compared to 5-year average: report
Published Monday, February 11, 2019 6:10PM EST
A new report shows that school buses were involved in more crashes and delayed more often in the last school year.
The report was done by Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region and was scheduled to be presented to trustees on Monday night.
Officials cite increased congestion in school loading zones as a major reason behind the increases in collisions, but those driving school buses say other drivers won’t slow down.
“One of the biggest challenges is watching out for other drivers,” explains Mike North, who drives to Elmira.
In total there were 58 collisions involving school buses during the 2017 and 2018 school year.
That’s compared to 41 crashes the year before, and 48 the year before that.
“This is an opportunity to improve and make sure that we are continuing to monitor that to reach our goal of zero,” says Alana Russell with the Waterloo Regional District School Board.
Most of the crashes were minor, the report says, with only a single injury reported. In that case, a student reported that they felt a sore back.
Two thirds of the collisions are being called completely preventable.
School bus operators are reviewing their training programs in light of these new numbers.
School buses also experienced a significant spike in service delays during the school year.
During the 2017 to 2018 school year, buses were more than 50 minutes late 188 times. The year prior, only 20 buses hit that mark.
According to the report, 95 of these delays happened on Jan. 8, 2018. That would still put the remaining number higher than the year before, but closer to the five-year average of 23.8 instances per school year.