ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Four school buses were struck by other vehicles within one hour on Wednesday, according to the Anchorage School District. The ASD Transportation Center says that's unprecedented.
The district is hoping to get drivers on Anchorage roads to slow down.
"My concern is for the safety of the children that we transport here in the Anchorage School District," said Chuck Moore, senior director of ASD Transportation Services. "And specifically, it kind of came to a head yesterday afternoon, where we had four accidents within a one-hour time period."
At the time of the collisions, all four buses were transporting students – one with middle-schoolers and three with elementary students. And while nobody reported any injuries, ASD said they needed to remind drivers what's at stake.
"The biggest takeaway that I would want the motoring public to know is first of all to slow down," said Moore. "We find that in the majority of the accidents, the root cause is that motorists are driving too fast to slow down."
Moore said drivers should expect ASD buses to move "pretty slow." This means the buses are slow at starting up and stopping, and other motorists should give the buses space to do so.
"I would say that they need to stop six car lengths behind the bus... not right up against the bumper," said Moore.
Moore said this year's school bus crash rate wasn't particularly high, until the last three weeks.
"We've had 11 accidents in the past three weeks, where motorists have hit us kind of in every situation: They've rear-ended us, they've hit us from the front [and] they've hit us from the side," said Moore. "Most of what we're seeing is just motorists driving too fast for conditions."
To help prevent future collisions, Moore advocates that motorists leave an extra five-minutes before commute time. He doesn't want drivers to feel the need to hurry.
"It's their children on those school buses, so they need to understand that we're just trying to make sure that children get safely to and from school," said Moore.
KTUU's Leroy Polk contributed to this report.