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Calls for school bus safety audit nearly one year after SW Baltimore crash

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Posted at 12:33 PM, Sep 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-25 23:22:04-04

Monday, members of Baltimore City Council's Education and Youth Committee called on state education officials to audit the transportation system at Baltimore City Schools.

This comes almost 11 months after a deadly crash involving a school bus killed 6 people on Frederick Avenue in southwest Baltimore.

The audit was recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board, which released its report on the crash back in April.

The report found that on November 1st of last year, school bus driver Glenn Chappell suffered a stroke and crashed into an MTA bus full of passengers. Chappell, the driver of the MTA bus and 4 other passengers were killed. No children were on the school bus.

Councilman Zeke Cohen says its taking too long for the Maryland State Department of Education to implement changes recommended by the NTSB. Chappell was found to have had past crashes on his safety record that City Schools did not know about.

"It makes me wonder, are there other drivers out there who should not be behind the wheel?" he said at the scene of the crash Monday.

Cohen says he inquired about the safety audit in July, and was told that a contract would be finalized with a third party by September 4th.

"It's September 25th," Cohen said. "We're heading into October. It still has not started, and that's what were asking for today."

The State Department of Education responded Monday, saying that it hopes to have a preliminary audit finished by October 31st. It also says several new school bus safety regulations were put into place last month.

RELATED: 6 confirmed dead after MTA, school bus crash in southwest Baltimore