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Experts warn children, drivers to stay alert near school bus stops

Transportation experts said the tragedies in other states serve as a reminder of all to be cautious near school bus stops.

Posted: Nov 5, 2018 6:20 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) School bus stop safety gained national attention after five children were killed while waiting for school buses last week.

The St. Joseph School District has not reported any incidents of dangerous drivers near bus stops for the 2018-2019 school year. But transportation experts said the tragedies in other states serve as a reminder of all to be cautious near school bus stops.

Director of Transportation Safety with Apple Bus, Shawn Woods, said drivers in a hurry to get to and from work are often on the roads at the same time as buses are picking up students for school.

"Some aren't paying attention to some of the hazards that are out there,” Woods said. “It’s at the same time when 500 thousand school buses are transporting 25 million students every day."

83,944 vehicles passed illegally through bus stops in one day, according to a recent survey of school bus drivers in 38 states and Washington, D.C. It’s not only dangerous,
Sgt. Roy Hoskins with the St. Joseph Police Department said it’s not only dangerous to drive through those stops, it’s also illegal.

"Our school bus drivers are trained to gather information quickly license plates, vehicle descriptions, drivers descriptions and they forward that to the police department,” Hoskins said. “Just because you get away with it at that moment doesn't mean that you may not be ticketed afterward.”

Woods and Hoskins encourage drivers and children to use caution around school buses and stops.

For drivers, Hoskins said to put down the phone while driving, slow down, and pay close attention.

“Children are unpredictable, they could dart out into the road when you least expect it.”

Woods said parents should talk to their children so they are aware that distracted drivers are out there and that horsing around at bus stops can be dangerous.

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