9OYS investigates local efforts to keep buses safe following deadly Tenn. crash

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – Parents across the country are hugging their children a little tighter Tuesday after picking them up from the bus stop following a deadly bus crash Monday afternoon in Chattanooga.

Craven County Schools spend thousands of dollars every year in hopes something like that never happens here.

Several cameras, a GPS and extra mirrors are only some of the safety features on their school buses.

Craven County transportation director Toni Floyd said her favorite safety feature is a device that lets her monitor the bus drivers’ actions.

“It enables us to go in and see if drivers are following the rules of the road,” Floyd said. “Are you speeding in certain neighborhoods? Because we know what all the neighborhoods’ speed limits are, and we can compare that to what they are actually traveling.”

By North Carolina law, yellow school buses can’t travel more than the speed of 45 miles per hour.

The GPS on the school bus tracks where the driver is at all times. Floyd can then check on her computer to see what’s going on.

Half the bus drivers in Craven County are teacher assistants.

Floyd said they go through the exact same training as any other bus driver.

They must pass the DMV training classes before they can pick students up.

Every bus driver is then subject to random drug tests.

Floyd is a bus driver herself, and she said her number one goal is to make sure students get home to their parents safely every night.

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