DCS Taking Tougher Action to Deal with Reckless Driving and Speeding Complaints

DCS conducting weekly random checks for school bus drivers with 10 or more complaints

Dallas County Schools says it's taking tougher action to deal with school bus drivers who have racked up multiple complaints for reckless driving and speeding.

This comes after an NBC 5 investigation that found some of those drivers receive little or no punishment.

DCS announced the changes Thursday afternoon and said it is going to conduct random weekly spot checks now for all school bus drivers who have received 10 or more complaints.

Through an open records request, NBC 5 Investigates obtained records showing more than 4,000 complaints in less than two years called in by drivers on the road.

One bus driver received 32 complaints alone, mostly for reckless driving and speeding. DCS confirmed that driver is still behind the wheel.

But the district says he's one of more than a dozen who will now get weekly random check rides to monitor driving.

Safety experts say it's important for management to deal with complaints right away.

"If there's dangerous driving behavior out there, if there's bad habits that are out there, they need to be addressed. And it needs to be done quickly. Sometimes it might mean discipline in very severe situations," said National Safety Council CEO Deborah Hersman.

In all, 26 DCS drivers received 10 or more complaints in less than two years.

DCS says four of those drivers were fired after further investigation. Another two have retired, while others have been ordered to retraining.

After NBC 5 Investigates asked questions about the remaining drivers still on the road despite multiple complaints, DCS investigated further.

Management announced Monday it will put the new check rides in place.

In a statement the agency said, "DCS is conducting random weekly spot checking of all drivers with 10 or more complaints by a safety specialist who will report back to the Area Director for any additional actions that need to be taken" against any of the drivers involved.

"Additionally, the Area Directors are reviewing every case to determine, with the field observation, if additional and more severe actions need to be taken," the statement read.

DCS points out some complaint calls it receives are unreliable.

One of the drivers who had more than 10 complaints was one of the drivers suspended for getting a citation for running red lights. That was the ticket scandal that prompted NBC 5 Investigates to take a closer look at DCS' entire bus operation.

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