Thursday, November 18, 2010

Traffic accidents costly for school district

Traffic accidents costly for school district
San Diego Union-Tribune
By Ashly McGlone
November 18, 2010

The Chula Vista Elementary School District has paid nearly $27,000 to settle claims involving five traffic accidents over the past two years.

According to district documents, four vehicles were sideswiped and three were rear-ended. Most of the incidents happened on Hilltop Drive, where Hilltop Elementary, Hilltop Middle and Hilltop High schools are located within one mile of each other.

An average of $3,800 was paid per claim.

District spokesman Anthony Millican said the number of accidents is minimal given the more than 190 district vehicles in operation.

“We take safety very seriously,” Millican said. “If the driver is investigated by the CHP (as in the case of all school bus accidents), the driver is put on administrative leave until it is resolved.”

Some 109 school buses operate in the state’s largest elementary school district, which educates more than 27,000 students.

Not all accidents involved school buses, though.

Bus drivers in the district are paid between $16.46 and $20.89 per hour and are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent and must hold a valid commercial driver’s license and a California School Bus Driver Certificate. They also must maintain a good driving record, among other qualifications.

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