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Troopers: Two 'mirror-slapping' school bus incidents in one week

By Mahsa Saeidi, Reporter
Published On: Sep 07 2012 06:39:18 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 07 2012 08:17:49 PM CDT
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ONSLOW COUNTY -

Troopers say in two separate incidents this week, Onslow County school buses had their side-view mirrors clipped by other vehicles. In both cases, there were students on board, but no one was hurt.

According to the Highway Patrol, a Southwest Middle School bus brushed mirrors with a construction truck on Tuesday near the intersection of Pony Farm Road and Highway 53 in Onslow County.  On Wednesday, troopers say two school buses clipped mirrors at Summersill Road in Jacksonville.

School officials say these so-called "mirror-slapping" incidents occur when wide buses end up on narrow country roads.

"Over 180 days, it happened 7 times last year," says Dr. Barry Collins, the assistant superintendent of Onslow County Schools.

Collins says in Onslow County, there are 287 school buses on the road each weekday. The buses carry more than 14,000 students across 750 routes in the county.

Jacksonville Deputy City Manager Ron Massey says schools work with the city and law enforcement to ensure students are safe when traveling to and from school.

"That's just the tip of the iceberg because there's a relatively small percentage of the children who ride the school bus," said Massey.

Massey says each school requires a different safety solution. "In every school, depending on what street it's located on, how busy the street is, where the children have to walk to get to school, their patterns will be different," said Massey.

Massey says if a school has a particularly complicated safety concern, the city of Jacksonville brings in experts from the North Carolina Department of Transportation to address the issue.  Massey says it's all about keeping students safe.