RICHARDSON (CBSDFW.COM) – According to Dallas County bus drivers in Richardson, there are a number of poorly maintained intersections that are putting them, bus monitors and schoolchildren at risk.
Drivers say one of the worst line of sight problems is right near their bus barn. The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) crossing in question is at 100 E. Buckingham.
At a press conference Friday drivers said when the gates come down they know to stop, but when the gates go up it’s often less than a minute before another train comes from the opposite direction.
“Once those arms go up we have to creep for our safety and try to be across before another train comes down, or another train comes up. If you come back the opposite way it’s the same problem,” driver Benny Douglas said.
Workers said trees block their view of the trains on one side and a large; storage shed-sized electrical box blocks the view on the other side.
Driver Jerrine Vincent said the line of sight problem means she has to solely depend on the signals to work.
“God forbid that these should ever fail, any of the signals, because you’re on your own.”
Special needs monitor Cecil Fulton detailed some of the standards and guidelines for drivers and monitors. “We’re required to stop, as a driver, fifteen feet before the tracks. They should take a look at it and make sure that there’s clear visibility from at least that standpoint.”
David Escalante, with Dallas County Schools, said they would have told DART to trim the trees if they had known about it.
“Our bus drivers never came to us directly, if they would have we could have been very proactive and tried to solve this problem,” he said. “If bus our drivers have a problem or concerns with any of their bus routes or bus stops they should definitely bring them to us.”
Escalante said Dallas County officials weren’t aware of the concern until they saw a press release announcing that bus drivers and monitors were holding a news conference.
Officials with DART said they too just learned about the obstructed view and will send a tree-trimming crew next week. Unfortunately they say there’s not much they can do about the electrical box.
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