Folkston school bus driver plows through railroad tracks with red lights on and crossing arms moving

The Charlton County School System is currently investigating a disturbing incident caught on camera. Last Tuesday, a school bus driver drove a busload of students across a set of railroad tracks while the railroad crossing gates were coming down.

JACKSONVILLE, Fl -- Every three hours a person or a vehicle is hit by a train according to Operation lifesaver.
School bus drivers are trained on how to enter and cross a railroad crossing safely.
 
What happened last Tuesday in the Folkston community has some parents very concerned.
 
"I worry about our children on this bus," Debbie said. "It was bus seventeen."
  
Tuesday around 3:48 pm, Bus 17 stopped at the railroad crossing on Bowery Lane.
 
The video, recorded on a driver's cellphone, shows the railroad crossing arms going up and the red caution lights blinking.
 
First, one vehicle races across the tracks, followed by another, and another, then comes the big yellow school bus with children on board.
 
The problem while the bus is crossing the caution lights are still blinking and the crossing arms are now going down rapidly, instead of up, yet the driver keeps going. 
 
Debbie said when she saw the video, she could not believe it.
 
"He should have taken a different route, children are on the bus and a lot a trains come through here," she said.
 
Later she would learn, that this incident was the driver's second time during the day crossing the track in the same manner.
 
"What we see on the video is the second time, that's when it was captured on video," she said.
 
Charlton County School Superintendent Dr. John Lairsey said he received a call from the Georgia State of Transportation about the incident.
 
"This is something they take seriously," he said.
 
His staff was reviewing all of the videos from the bus cameras as part of an investigation.
 
"The Charlton County School System is committed to a safe environment for all of our students while at school and when on school transportation.  We are currently investigating the incident you brought to my attention this morning," said Lairsey.
  
Parents say the children have complained to their parents about this driver before, but what they saw on the video gives them even more reason for concern about the driver's sense of judgment.
 
"We trust them to watch over our kids and keep them safe," said Debbie, " he should have went another way."
 
The Charlton School superintendent said the rules are clear.
 
He said school bus drivers know not to cross the railroad tracks with the caution lights on and the safety crossing arms down – or if they're in motion - even if the crossing system is malfunctioning, he said it will not be tolerated.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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