Winner 1988

Caution: Precious Cargo


Millions of American school children ride on school buses every day. Their parents want those buses to be safe and they rely on laws to ensure their children’s safety. But the laws do not always work. In this account of school buses operating in Miami, WPLG-TV’s Linda Pattillo and Jeff King found that many were operating illegally Moreover, the station found that the laws themselves were filled with loopholes that allowed private school bus companies to operate unsafe vehicles and employ unsafe drivers. The dramatic presentation of situations captured by the cameras rallied both parent and legislative attention. Parents, provoked to action, actually conducted their own on-the-spot inspections of buses. And, local legislators promised to close the legal loopholes that were at the core of the problem. For presenting important information to the public and focusing attention on a vital local issue, a Peabody to WPLG-TV for Caution: Precious Cargo.