Baltimore Council Members Decry Lack of School Bus Audit

Baltimore City Council members are calling on the Maryland State Department of Education to expedite an audit of the school district’s transportation department in response to last November’s fatal crash of a school bus into an MTA bus, reports The Baltimore Sun.

In April, the National Transportation Safety Board called for an “urgent” and independent review of Baltimore City Public Schools bus drivers and their qualification process after Glen Chappell, 67, of contractor AAAfordable Transportation passed out behind the wheel and crashed head-on into the transit bus on Nov. 1.

Chappell as well as the transit bus driver and five transit passengers died. No students were on the bus at the time of the crash, though a bus attendant was and suffered minor injuries.

Related: NTSB Calls for ‘Urgent’ Exam of Baltimore Bus Driver Checks

“This audit should’ve commenced before the last school year finished or at the very latest, over the summer,” City Councilman Zeke Cohen said. “Now we’re back into the school year and they still haven’t selected a firm to complete the audit.”

A Maryland State Department of Education spokesman said a contract for the bus system audit is expected to be finalized this week. Auditors must submit a preliminary report by Oct. 31.