Ilion, N.Y. - A school bus driver for Birnie Bus has been taken off of his run temporarily after being caught on surveillance video not stopping at a stop sign and letting children off at the wrong stop.
Central Valley Academy School District Superintendent Jeremy Rich says the driver, whose name is not being released, will be retrained before being allowed to drive a school bus again.
Rich released the following statement to News Channel 2 Monday afternoon, "When we learned of this incident last week, we immediately contacted the bus company with whom we contract for transportation services. They responded by promptly investigating, sharing those results, and taking steps to remedy the situation. Company officials shared that the driver was written up and has been temporarily removed from the run. He will undergo student management retraining. When he returns, he will have a permanent monitor on his runs. The company's safety investigator will also review his driving practices. The company has been responsive to our concerns and we will follow up to ensure they adhere to their safety and disciplinary plans. Although this is not our bus or our employee, we are responsible for our students' safety. We cannot accept any behavior that compromises that safety."
We tried to reach Birnie Bus for a comment, but did not receive a call back.
The driver was caught rolling through the stop sign on a security camera put up by the father of one of the kids who was on the bus that day.
Andrew Lamica says his 11-year-old daughter Kaydence called him last Wednesday after she had to cross a very busy Otsego St., "I was on my way home and she said she had to cross the street and I knew right then there was something wrong with that. So when I got home I went out to my DVR on the system I have at the house. It showed him rolling through the stop sign and dropping them off across the street."
Lamica says he tried calling the bus garage that day but didn't get anyone to call him back so he posted the video to his Facebook page, "Obviously there was some outrage on social media from parents and the community when they seen it, especially some parents on this bus route."
Carol Franklin is a grandparent who was waiting for her granddaughter on Monday when we were doing this follow up story where the incident took place.
Franklin says she is glad to hear the district did take disciplinary action, but thinks maybe the driver should have been let go, "It's very busy, it's very dangerous. You also have the tractor trailers that are coming down that are not going the speed limit, and there's a lot of cars that don't go the speed limit down through here."
Lamica says he is still troubled by the video, "I don't want see anyone lose their job but I’m still very frustrated by the video. I haven’t spoke to the gentleman who was driving but I know he has children, so I know I wasn't something that was done on purpose. I just think, like with any job, you get complacent, you’re in a rush and when something like that happens it should be addressed."
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