Driver upset about school bus stopped on train tracks - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

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Driver upset about school bus stopped on train tracks

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A concerned driver contacted Channel 3 for help after seeing a Hamilton County school bus sitting on railroad tracks for several minutes, Friday.  

School officials say the bus had some sort of mechanical issue preventing it from getting out of the way quickly. 

"When I took the picture, I couldn't believe that the bus stopped on the railroad tracks and wasn't going to continue on and make the right hand turn," said Chapman. 

Driver, Frances Chapman snapped two pictures showing bus #381 straddling the tracks at the Holtzclaw and McCallie intersection Friday morning, waiting for the light to turn green. 

"Through the whole light change, the entire light cycle," said Chapman. 

She says she knew what drivers are supposed to do at train tracks because she's a trained driving safety director with 2 decades of experience in driving a motor coach. 

"I never drove a school but but the rules of the road are the same," said Chapman. "I think what he should have done was stayed  behind the stop bars that are clearly marked at the railway." 

Chapman says she called Hamilton County Schools and bus contractor, Durham to complain. She contacted Channel 3 when she says the complaint was not taken seriously. 

 "My husband said well we would have been showered by bus parts and maybe had been hit by the back end of that bus or the front end of the bus when it swung around, anything could have happened," said Chapman. " it's just ridiculous they should not have been on that track for that long." 

Bus drivers are required to stop and look both ways before crossing tracks.

A spokesperson for Hamilton County Schools says the bus driver did follow proper procedures, but the bus "stalled" for 2 to 3 seconds on the tracks before the light turned red.  The bus has been taken out of service, and the driver is being retrained on railroad rules. 

There were no children on the bus, but Chapman worries if she didn't speak up what may have happened. 

"Just educate these drivers, if they are not following the rules of the road some safety director out there isn't doing their part especially now post this accident we had recently." 

When we first reached out to the school system we were told this stretch of tracks is not used. We checked and  the track is operational and used by the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. 

Again, there were no kids on the bus when this happened.That bus is now being checked out and the driver is going through 2 additional hours of training.  

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