Marlington school bus driver’s history not enough to keep her off road, according to state regulations

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 6:59 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - One day after a school bus crash in Stark County, 19 Investigates is looking into the standards school bus drivers face.

We uncovered the woman responsible for rolling the school bus in Marlboro Township has a long history of dangerous driving, according to BMV and court records.

By law, we found her record wasn’t enough to get her off the road.

School bus driver Debra Weisel has racked up at least 12 points since 1999 and has been in at least nine accidents since 2002, including this school bus crash, according to records.

Twelve points will only get you a suspension if you get them within a 2-year period, according to the Ohio BMV.

Weisel had her CDL , which can be lost with any major violations.

Those include alcohol and drug violations, like an OVI conviction, driving under suspension or failing to stop after an accident.

Those violations don’t appear on Weisel’s record.

She did have a violation for “failure to control” and running a stop sign, according to BMV records.

In 2018, records show Weisel went off the road while driving a school bus.

She hit a pole and crashed into a ditch while working for the same school district.

But it appears, according to the state, none of this disqualifies her from driving a school bus.

19 News spoke with Weisel Tuesday and she had no comment.

Requirements for school bus drivers

School bus drivers must meet specific requirements by the state before getting behind the wheel.

This includes 18 qualifications covering drug and alcohol checks, a physical, background checks and annual reports of their driver data.

That’s on top of scoring an 80 or better to pass a school bus driving evaluation.

Overall, there’s a whole list of state requirements school bus drivers must meet.

It’s up to the school district to track them and decide when to fire an employee.

School bus crashes

Over the last five years, 6,089 crashes involving school buses have been reported statewide, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Another 1,847 people were hurt in school bus crashes over that time, and eight people died.

That includes a recent school bus crash that killed one child on the first day of school in Clark County, Ohio.