A Copperas Cove ISD school bus was filmed stopped underneath a railroad crossing arm at 17th Street in Copperas Cove on Tuesday, and now the driver is no longer employed by the district.
Bus 52 had been making its afternoon route from Copperas Cove High School, transporting roughly 25 students, when it stopped at the railroad crossing and then began to drive across the tracks, according to the school district.
"As the bus entered the tracks, the red flashing lights began, the bell sounded and the crossing arm began to come down," CCISD Spokesperson Wendy Sledd said in a statement. "The bus driver reversed the bus off of the tracks to ensure the safety of the students but the crossing arm came down on the bus."
Sledd said the train never hit the bus, and the driver was not cited by police. No students were hurt.
"CCISD continues to keep the safety of its students and staff as its top priority and removed the students from the bus and placed them on another bus with a new driver and transported them safely home," Sledd said.
All the district's bus drivers are required to complete 25 hours of in-service training at the beginning of the school year, in addition to the state's 20-hour required certification to get their licenses to operate buses. The drivers are also required to take an eight hour recertification class every three years and attend monthly safety meetings, according to Sledd.
“Our drivers undergo drug and alcohol testing throughout the year and undergo frequent driving record checks to ensure our students are safe," CCISD Deputy Superintendent of Operations and Support Services Rick Kirkpatrick said in a statement.
The district said its bus drivers -- who transport more than 5,594 students per day -- would also undergo an additional railroad crossing refresher course before their afternoon routes Wednesday.
"CCISD has not had a fatality-related school bus accident in more than 40 years despite traveling thousands of miles and transporting thousands of students every day," Sledd added.
Local law enforcement agencies are already holding train safety events this week because it is 'Rail Safety Week' nationwide.
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