In Light of Complaint, Amherst Schools Remind Students About Bus Safety

Madison Heights, VA - Amherst County school officials are reminding parents and students about school bus danger zones after a Madison Heights mother complained that her four year-old daughter came dangerously close to being hit.

Alexia Coleman says her daughter was trying to catch the bus around 8:30 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of Phelps Road and Business 29. She says just as her four-year-old was about to step off the curb, the bus took off.

"She could have gotten hit by the bus. She could have been hit by a car," Coleman said, standing next to her daughter's bus stop.

School officials immediately launched an investigation and say after reviewing the buses' surveillance video, they determined the bus driver followed proper protocol.

It shows the driver activating her red lights, stopping to let students on, and shutting the doors just before pulling off.

The transportation and maintenance director says the student would have to have been several feet away from the bus or she would have shown up on camera.

"All I can do is look at the tape to see what the tape shows me. And I did not see a child on the curb ready to get on the bus," said Wayne Cocke.

Cocke wants to remind parents about a school buses' so-called danger zone: they should stay at least 10 feet away from the front and six feet from the sides. Statistics show getting onto and off school buses is actually more dangerous than riding inside one.

Amherst County is getting ready to unveil new technology to keep students safe. Cocke says in two weeks, eight school buses will be outfitted with new cameras to catch drivers that run past them at bus stops.