Guilford County Schools bus driver causes close call while passing cyclist

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MCLEANSVILLE, N.C. — It was a close call involving a bicycle, Guilford County Schools bus and another vehicle. It started with a decision the school bus driver made while heading down Rankin Mill Road between Huffine Mill Road and Keeley Road in McLeansville.

The GCS bus crossed the solid yellow line to pass Brent Butler on his bicycle. The bus came inches from an oncoming SUV. The move caught Butler off guard.

“It’s risky and dangerous and no need for it,” Butler said. “You don’t really expect to see that from someone who’s supposed to be driving children around safely.”

Butler shared a video of what happened from his bicycle camera with FOX8. Only seconds stood between him and a terrible situation.

“I could hear a school bus pulling behind me and not slowing down and saw there was oncoming traffic,” he said. “The old heart rate goes up because it’s risky and potential for a really bad accident to happen.”

He’ll never forget the look on the driver’s face in the oncoming lane.

“You could see her through the windshield. She had a bit of a death grip on the old steering wheel,” Butler said. “Color drained out of her face, mouth open.”

Butler said he’s seen plenty of close calls between drivers, but never with a school bus driver.

“It was scary,” he said. “It would be terrible if there were children on board, risking your safety for one thing and setting a poor example.”

FOX8 reached out to Guilford County Schools several times but has not gotten answers. Butler shared the video with the school district.

“They seemed pleased to get it and called me back to thank me and assure me that they were taking the issue very seriously,” he said.

As Butler continues to ride his bike the camera will be rolling at all times.

“If anything happens while I’m out on the road it’ll capture it,” Butler said. “Just pretend it was one of your loved ones out there, how would you drive around them.”

Butler told FOX8 safety on the road is important to him because a car hit him while riding his bike in 2019.

According to North Carolina law there is an exception to pass slower moving bicycles and mopeds.

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