Headline News

Beaufort County Bus Driver Reports Buses Unfit For Children


The following article appeared on the website of WSAV-TV in Savannah, GA
Published March 25, 2014

Some school bus drivers will begin to wage battle in Charleston tonight, based on what they call hazardous driving conditions. The group Teamsters Local 509 says their next stop is Beaufort County.

Beaufort County bus drivers in that union say Durham School Services buses they drive suffer problems from transmission and brake issues, to mold and roach infestation.

“It’s just issues, after issues, after issues,” one driver tells News Three.

Although she wished to remain anonymous, the bus driver says the problems she faces speak for themselves. She says she’s experienced transmission and brake troubles, as well as roach and ant woes. She’s not the only one, either.

“We’re looking at these children’s lives. These are the future for us, and if they have to travel and go through those situations, that’s not right,” she says.

About 65 kids ride the bus she drives twice every day. She says some of the maintenance issues could be life threatening, in the case of a crash occurring.

Add to that the age of the children she drives around Beaufort County, and this driver is stressed at work.

“We start at three and four years old, riding in these buses,” she says.

Although the driver says she and others complain to the Beaufort County School District, who contracts with the bus owner Durham School Services, the district says they have no record of these complaints.

Chief Student Services Officer Gregory McCord with the Beaufort County School District says Durham School District buses do not have the issues in Beaufort county they have in other counties like Charleston and Dorchester.

“I can tell you that we offer several different avenues for our drivers to bring concerns to the attention of management in a timely manner,” McCord says.

However, some drivers did not agree.

“We’re constantly reporting these things, but we feel like we’re not being heard,” says one Durham School Services bus driver.

In order to see change happen and issues resolved, she hopes conversations will start.

“I want parents to speak up. Ask the children questions. Find out. Talk with their bus driver. Let’s go to the district and all together. We’ve got to do something,” she says.