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School bus crashes on the rise in the Tampa Bay area

Sarasota Co. on pace for record number of crashes
Posted at 11:12 PM, Apr 11, 2017

We looked at data going back five years and found school bus crashes are rising dramatically in every county. Most of these crashes are not the bus driver's fault.

But in Hillsborough County, school bus accidents are up 15 percent from five years ago. In Pasco county, they're up  a whopping 65 percent. And in Sarasota County, after today's accident, they are now on pace to have 54 school bus accidents this year. That would be a 50 percent increase from 2012.

RELATED: Sarasota bus crashes could hit all time high

And all across Tampa Bay, big yellow is a big target.

The bus accident hot zones include: Plant City, Brandon, South Tampa, and Clearwater. And now Sarasota.

17 school bus crashes so far this year. The county is on pace for a 25 percent increase in school bus accidents from last year, with a bus accident occurring every 21 days.

And the trend is true across the bay area, where every year, there’s an average of 486 school bus accidents region wide. Resulting in 302 injuries and 2 deaths. The crashes are increasing nearly every year.

"Riding a bus should not be such a hug risk activity," says Tampa attorney Michael Maddox.

While taking the bus is still considered the safest way to get to school Maddox, who has represented parents whose kids have been involved in local Bus accidents, said bus drivers shoulder a big burden for relative little pay.

"Can you imagine taking on a bus load of 60 kids, getting them to their destination safely and your going to make 9.50 cents an hour to do it?," he points out.

As for seatbelts...the Sarasota bus had them and there were still injuries.

And to add, one of the worst months for school bus crashes is April! One of the worst days is Tuesday.