My usual path to work is driving down Mabelton Parkway towards Fulton County. Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010, was no different, except what I witnessed involving bus #1071, the same bus involved in this past Friday morning’s accident. As I approached the bus, neither the warning or stop lights that are above the windows on the back of the bus were illuminated.
Once I was within two or three car lengths of the bus, the driver stopped abruptly, turning on the red stopping lights and the stop sign flag. I had to instantly come to a stop, going from 45 m.p.h. down to zero. I skidded slightly but managed to stop without passing the bus. A white Mustang almost rear-ended me, but managed to swerve into the center lane to avoid me.
I was convinced that not only was the lights procedure (going from yellow to red) avoided, but the bus driver was not stopping safely. I contacted the Bus Maintenance division of Cobb County Schools and received a cold reception on the information I provided. I stated exactly that I believed if the bus lights were not fixed and/or the driver not reprimanded, someone was going to slam into the back of the bus and/or get someone killed. Who knew that only two mornings later, I would pass a car wedged under the rear of that same bus.
This issue highlights the fact that the bus maintenance division is not doing their job to make sure that the buses are safe and functioning properly and that the drivers are driving safely.