KNIGHTDALE, N.C. (WNCN) — Thousands of Wake County schoolchildren walk to their bus stops in the dark, leaving some parents worried about their kids’ safety.
Jason Moon’s 12-year-old daughter, Lillian, started the school year walking a half-mile down Sandy Trail Road to her bus stop. It’s well before the sun comes up, and both Jason and Lillian said there are a lot of speeders and people running stop signs in the area.
“The cars come flying through and there are many times where I had to jump off the road because I almost got hit,” Lillian Moon said.
Jason Moon told CBS 17 he’s now dropping Lillian off at the stop every day because it’s not safe to let her walk this route.
He sent several emails and made multiple phone calls to the Wake County Public School System to ask if another stop could be made closer to their home.
“I’ve got six different work orders from email contacts and I’ve been leaving voicemails weekly since then,” Jason Moon said.
After not getting a response for several weeks, Jason Moon finally received a letter from the district declining his request.
In that letter, the transportation director said the current stop “meets the criteria of a satisfactory bus stop” and there is “sufficient space to safely wait for the bus.”
CBS 17 reached out to the school district to get a better understanding of what’s keeping them from adding more stops. In a statement, the district said:
“Given the severe bus driver shortage, we have attempted to make bus routes as efficient as possible. That often means reducing the number of stops on a route, which can result in a longer walk to the bus stop for some students. Some students also need to be at the bus stop early in the morning so their driver will have time to complete a second run before the school day begins. We realize this can be a hardship on some families. Unfortunately, the driver shortage has greatly limited our flexibility. At this time, it will be extremely difficult for us to accommodate requests for bus stop changes. To promote safety, we encourage parents to escort their children to the bus stop whenever possible and to make sure their student is aware of all bus safety protocols.”
WCPSS told CBS 17 it received nearly 86,000 submitted questions or concerns pertaining to bus stops last school year.
There is a form parents can fill out on the district transportation webpage to submit any questions or concerns they may have about a bus stop, including a request to move a bus stop.