KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. — Any number of illegal passes on school buses does not make Kanawha County Schools Transportation Director Brette Fraley very happy.
As the county school system released results from its annual one-day illegal pass survey conducted on April 26, Fraley said there has to be a zero tolerance policy.
On that day, there were 30 vehicles that illegally passed a KCS school bus.
“What we will do is go back and look at the stops and make sure there is nothing that we can not do to improve the situation,” Fraley said. “In other words, if we can move a stop we will. We have done that over time and we have seen some very significant decreases.”
Fraley said the majority of illegal passes in the county occurred on MacCorkle Avenue where they have already moved some stops.
He said the strip of the road from Kanawha City down to Jefferson Avenue saw the most offenses.
“A lot of people think it is a divided highway and it’s not,” he said. “What the law reads is a controlled access highway. That would be the interstate, Corridor G and things of that nature. That is not the case with MacCorkle Avenue.”
The Kanawha County results come a part of the national initiative by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services.
According to Fraley, West Virginia was one of the few states with decreases in the number of illegal passes.
He credits recent legislation, law enforcement, more signage from the school system, and the public becoming more involved.
When Fraley started with Kanawha County Schools in 2014, the school system saw 93 illegal passes on a bus in one day with West Virginia seeing 360 total. In 2018, Kanawha County counted 13 in a day and there were 180 in the state.
Fraley said there was a positive statistic to take away from the one-day survey.
“The one good thing that I did see this year is there were no illegal passes on the right-hand side,” he said. “Last year in the state of West Virginia we had 11 illegal passes on the right-hand side of the bus or where the students get off the door side.”
According to him, the country saw a large increase in illegal passes on the right side with nearly 2,500 in one day.
More information on the national illegal pass survey is available HERE