Pitt County Schools discuss bus driver safety after deadly Tennessee accident

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PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Officials with Pitt County Schools say they thankfully have not had any fatal bus accidents involving their students in recent history, like the one in Chattanooga, TN Monday that left five children dead.

Pitt County transportation officials say over 13,000 buses in our state are out on the roads every day and they make sure their bus drivers are up to date with safety procedures.

They say drivers go through at least six days of extensive training before they can start transporting students.

Once drivers are hired, Transportation Director Joey Weathington says their licenses expire after three years and that's when they redo their training with the DMV.

In addition, he says they hold monthly meetings with drivers to go over safety procedures.

He says the times when they are most worried about the students' safety is when kids are getting on and off the buses.

"With the construction of the bus, the training of the driver, the safety record is still unmatched, the situation in Tennessee is tragic," Weathington says. "It's unbelievable, but overall, the amount of miles, the number of students that's traveling on buses, the safety record is unmatched."

"It's sad that things like that happen, but I mean you just can't control things like that," says Amanda Black, who has a daughter that rides the bus home from school in Pitt County. "You just take a risk when you let your kids out into the world."

This is the first year bus drivers had to be trained on new hand signals to help kids board the bus.

The public school system says five students in the state were injured by drivers passing stopped school buses in the 2014-2015 school year.