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School bus drivers warn motorists of possible dangers

Reported by: Tyler Hill
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Updated: 8/26/2013 6:30 pm
Prentiss County, Miss. (WTVA) -  It's been a rough start to the school year for Prentiss County school bus drivers.

So far, the district has had three bus crashes this school year alone, which started in early August.

Many veteran school bus drivers worry the dangers are only getting worse.

"We didn't face as many problems ten years ago," said Prentiss County Transportation Director Bobby Johnson.

Johnson is a seasoned bus driver of over 10 years, and he said road dangers are getting worse as time goes by.

"There are so many things that are involved now, like cell phone use, headphones and loud music," he said.

Over the course of a month, Johnson has dealt with three bus wrecks since the beginning of the year, but he said the fault doesn't lie with the bus drivers.

"Our drivers have done an excellent job," Johnson said. "We have had no at-fault accidents."

So where does the fault lie?

Bus driver veteran of over 26 years Billy Coggins said besides texting and driving, he has an idea.

"There's a lot more cars then there was," Coggins said. "There's a lot more teen drivers that don't pay attention."

In fact, he said the roads are so dangerous now, he has a ritual before he steps onto his bus.

"I say a prayer every morning before I leave and a prayer every evening before I leave," Coggins explained.

Johnson said looking back over the wrecks that have occurred, "We're very, very fortunate there haven't been any deaths."

He said watching for school buses is actually a fairly simple task.

"They're yellow," he said. "They're all big, and they all carry children."

Johnson stresses that drivers must take precaution while driving during school hours.

"There's so many buses on the road," Johnson said. "There's so many schools. They know they're gonna be traveling those hours of the day. They need to look out for the children."

He said you should look out for school buses between the hours of 6 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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