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School official on speeding buses: ‘Firing drivers not the answer’

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Chief Operating Officer for the Richmond Public School system told the School Board Monday night that immediately firing bus drivers for speeding would result in massive delays along bus routes.

Tommy Kranz was responding to a question from board member Kim Gray after a CBS 6 investigation revealed hundreds of school buses speeding over the 2015-16 school year.

“We realize that it’s a serious problem,” Kranz said.

Kranz told the board about a new set of school bus speeding data.

“From September 6 to October 13, which is a period of 28 days, we have reported 1,217 speeding instances,” Kranz said.

Our investigation uncovered speeding alert data from GPS systems embedded in the buses that tracked hundreds of buses speeding during the last couple of months of the previous school year.


Kranz told the board, yes, the numbers sounded bad, but the most recent data only accounted for a small percentage of the total bus routes run.

“That 1,217 instances represent 3.95 percent of our total number of routes run during that time,” Kranz said.

He said calls to take action immediately against speeding drivers would result in delays along every bus route because it takes 12 weeks to hire a new driver.

“There is no way that we can hire enough drivers and or hold the buses,” Kranz said.

Instead, he said the system will work to better train drivers immediately.

“This is one where we need to do some education, which they’ve seen it now on the TVs,” Kranz said.

Kranz said he’s working to develop a new policy for using the data to discipline drivers in the future.

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