New Records Show Dallas County Schools Bus Drivers Still Running Red Lights - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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New Records Show Dallas County Schools Bus Drivers Still Running Red Lights

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    More Dallas County Schools bus drivers have been ticketed for driving dangerously, new records show. (Published Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017)

    More Dallas County Schools bus drivers have been ticketed for driving dangerously, new records show.

    NBC 5 Investigates discovered at least 13 additional school bus drivers have been fired for running red lights or blowing past the stop arms on other school buses since we first uncovered a major ticket scandal at the school bus agency last fall.

    The latest records show from October to May, DCS bus drivers racked up 39 more tickets for either red light or stop-arm violations — an average of one ticket per week for dangerous driving.

    "We are never comfortable with that. It's unacceptable, and I think that's why we continue to terminate the drivers," said DCS Police Chief Gary Lindsey.

    DCS points out the number of school bus drivers getting tickets has come down since last fall's scandal, but new videos and tickets showing at least three dozen more drivers breaking the law raise new questions about the agency that is trying to prove it deserves a second chance.

    DCS vowed to correct the dangerous driving problems seven months ago, when then-DCS Board President Larry Duncan told NBC 5 Investigates, "You found a problem, we owned it, we fixed it."

    In October, NBC 5 Investigates uncovered more than 400 red light and stop-arm tickets written to DCS bus drivers in less than three years.

    After our investigation, the agency fired 13 drivers and suspended 229 more.

    Now, the latest records show 13 more drivers have been fired since October. Those drivers lost their jobs as a result of a tough new policy DCS implemented following our original investigation.

    DCS now fires any bus driver caught running past another school bus stop sign, even once, because of the danger to kids.

    The agency is also forcing drivers to repay thousands of dollars of taxpayer money doled out for traffic fines.

    And the number of tickets has come down from about three per week to about one per week in the most recent records.

    "We still have room to make improvements, but I think we have made significant improvements since the story has come out, and the policies have been put into place that take care of those drivers that violate the policies," Lindsey said.

    DCS has until November to convince taxpayers it deserves another chance. After last fall's ticket scandal and a major financial crisis, the state legislature passed a bill that will let Dallas County voters decide if DCS should be shut down.

    NBC 5 Investigates contacted the unions that represent DCS drivers. One declined to comment, and the other told us it was not available.

    The biggest school district that uses DCS for busing, the Dallas Independent School District, said it wants hold off on commenting on the tickets until a meeting Thursday morning where Dallas ISD officials plan to question DCS about safety and about a shortage of bus drivers.

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