A school bus comes to a stop ahead of you, but it’s not in the same lane. Do you stop?
A group of Pasco County, Florida moms, have had just about enough with drivers who will not stop. Kristen Rieger and Monica Douglas are two of the mothers who do not like the way drivers are behaving around the school bus pick-up spot.
I’m sure you have seen the small stop sign that pops out on the backs of school buses when they come to a stop and the warnings that traffic must stop when the buses stop.
But sadly drivers do not always respect or obey these rules. There are cases where people blatantly ignore the rules and put children’s lives in danger, and then there are other cases where the drivers just do not pay attention enough even to know the rules.
Douglas began filming the bus stop where kids get on and yelling at drivers who never stopped.
The stretch of road in question, US 19, has multiple lanes, and a bus stops on the right-most lane twice a day to pick up and drop off students. According to ABC 15, the local School District acknowledges that it’s not an ideal setup, but they’re doing the best they can.
“We know that the safest place to pick students up is in the neighborhoods that they live in,” the district revealed in an email, but “this is the closest access point for these students living back off of Butch St. as the surrounding area is all commercial property.”
Parking lots closeby wouldn’t work either, as that would be considered private property and the buses cannot use them without permission.
She started filming the videos as a way to shame the drivers and bring awareness to others, and now her story has been picked up and passed around.
After hearing of the problem, some cops decided to jump in and do something about the issue. They showed up one day, waited for the group of cars to pass the bus, and then blocked the road. They began directing all the cars to pull to the side of the road, and a cop gave each driver a ticket.
“As we have been posting about this morning, IT IS THE LAW to stop for stopped school buses,” the Pasco Sheriff’s Office posted to its Facebook page. “This is to protect the children who are unloading from the bus. With recent reports of infractions, an Enforcement Action Plan was created for a noted bus stop on US 19.”
“This body worn camera video from Deputy Justin Smith shows himself and Deputy Ashlyn Reese making several traffic stops yesterday morning as vehicles continued driving past a stopped bus as children were unloading.”
“These enforcement actions will continue. We share this video and the post from earlier today to raise awareness to this issue and help to stop it from occurring any more.”
The bus stop’s location does seem like a bad idea, and the district is unable to change it at this time it seems. Maybe these videos will remind people to be more aware of school buses in order to protect our children.