School buses are supposed to provide students a safe way to get to and from class but bus drivers say they are increasingly seeing other motorists ignore their safety signals.
“It probably happens a half of dozen times daily,” said Howard Cutright, VCSC bus driver.
Whether the disregard for signals it’s intentional or unintentional is unknown, but Howard Cutright says that drivers need to consider school bus etiquette to ensure the safety of children.
“Obey the law that is in place, which is when we activate the ambers, which is the yellows on top, that mean we’re fixing preparing to stop,” says Cutright.
Once a school bus comes to a stop, red lights and a stop arm will show, meaning no vehicle should pass the bus. But that’s not the only rule that is critical during that time. Cutright says, “Never, never, pass a school bus on the right side because that’s where students are entering and exiting the bus.”
Not obeying these rules can not only put a student in harm’s way, but also land motorists in trouble with the law. As the Indiana State Police state police say that troopers are cracking down on these violations.
“They are issuing citations for people that are driving while distracted and violating the stop violations as well,” said Master Trooper Matt Ames, Indiana State Police.
Cutright says that drivers need to be cautious near school buses as if their own child is on board. “What is hard to understand about drivers is why they do it? All these drivers have children of their own or they have grandchildren.”
There is one exception to the stop arm rule, if you are traveling in the opposite direction of the bus with a median in between, you are not required by law to stop. If there is no median a stop is required, even if you are on the other side of the road.
VCSC bus drivers also announce that they raised over $2,000 for the families of the Rochester bus incident.