For the second time since February, a railroad crossing gate landed on the front of a stopped Wake County school bus traveling to Davis Drive Middle School – prompting calls for a review of safety of area train crossings.
The railroad crossing gate at Davis Drive and Collins Road landed on a stopped bus traveling to Davis Drive Middle on Tuesday morning, according to a letter sent Wednesday to parents by principal Rick Williams. This comes after a crossing gate hit a stopped bus in February at the nearby intersection of Davis Drive and Waldo Rood Boulevard.
In the February incident, school officials said the bus driver did not follow correct procedures for dealing with a railroad crossing. That driver no longer works for the district, according to Lisa Luten, a Wake schools spokeswoman.
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In the latest incident, Luten said the investigation is still ongoing but the driver correctly followed district procedures for dealing with a railroad crossing.
Williams told parents that the driver on Tuesday correctly stopped first at the railroad crossing’s white line. Drivers are instructed to continue moving forward and then stop before the tracks to make sure they’re clear before crossing.
Williams said the bus driver was stopped 15 yards before the tracks when the gate descended at the congested crossing. Cars were both in front and behind the bus at the time.
“Our bus drivers are trained to never cross the tracks when a train is arriving,” Williams said in the letter. “The driver waited until the train passed and the crossing gate was lifted.”
As a result of the incidents, Williams told parents that Wake’s transportation department would reach out to the town of Cary and the N.C. Department of Transportation to evaluate if additional changes should be made at the railroad crossing.
Williams also said that Wake’s transportation department will meet with all bus drivers who travel on Davis Drive to ensure they are trained to properly and safely drive through railroad crossings.