Brandy's Death Is Tragic Reminder to be Alert for School Bus Stop Arms
It's the second week of school for Douglas County residents and children's lives depend on drivers' alertness for the School Bus Stop Arm.
Douglas County High School junior 17-year-old Brandy Hart was killed last year and 51-year-old Shirley Barker McManners was charged with vehicular homicide when Hart was hit by McManners' car right after she got off a school bus.
The accident happened at Dorris Rd. off Cedar Mountain Rd.
"Either she didn't see the bus' stop sign, or she ran it," Sheriff Phil Miller said. "She struck the 17-year-old as she was crossing the street and unfortunately killed her."
"During the GaDOE stop arm violation survey on May 3 we had eight vehicles violate the stop arm law," B. Rodney Arrington said, Douglas County School System transportation director.
That means on a random school day last year, Douglas County bus drivers reported that they witnessed eight cars jeopardize children's lives by violating the State law to recognize the School Bus Stop Arm.
Over the past five years there have been nearly 300 accidents involving Douglas County school buses. Here is the breakdown, according to Arrington:
FY 2008 59 accidents
FY 2009 55 accidents
FY 2010 61 accidents
FY 2011 60 accidents
FY 2012 58 accidents
The Douglas County School Transportation Department makes available school bus service for more than 25,000 students enrolled in Douglas County Schools who reside in the school district of the school they are attending, according to information put out by the transportation office.
The school system operates more than 235 buses serving more than 440 routes averaging over 10,000 miles daily. Most drivers have an elementary school route and either a middle or a high school route. Some drivers, such as Special Needs Drivers, may serve several different schools in both their morning and afternoon routes.