The news is full of stories of accidents happening when children are boarding a school bus in the mornings or getting off in the afternoons. Warnings are out there for drivers to pay attention and stop when the stop arm on a bus is displayed and the lights are flashing. Yet, there are also videos out there showing drivers running these stop signs or going around buses on the outside while children are trying to get to and from the bus. Many claim they never saw the stop arm or the flashing lights.
Often, violations are not reported because it’s difficult for the school bus drivers to gather information needed to prosecute the motorists. Regrettably, the public is largely ignorant of the law prohibiting the passing of a school bus when the stop sign is activated and red lights are flashing. This is where the schools and communities come in. Informing the motorists is the first step in stopping the illegal passing. Fliers, billboards, and public service announcements will help inform drivers of this law.
The lack of awareness on the part of the drivers – who are often in a rush, on auto-pilot, or distracted by cell phones or other devices – means the problem will never go away completely. But the combined efforts of the schools, community, parents and police can minimize the situation and save countless lives.