Some Drivers Not Stopping for School Buses
Lynchburg, VA - Despite the fact that it's the law, some drivers are not stopping for school buses.
Lynchburg police say they get complaints on a weekly basis of drivers passing a stopped school bus, even when the bus has its flashing lights on. This is especially a problem with smaller buses. In fact, law enforcement say buses carrying pre-school aged children seem to get it the worst.
Wednesday, we stopped by White Rock Head Start to speak with their bus drivers.
The Head Start bus may be smaller in size, but it's no less important. We toured one that carries 29 children, ages three to five, all of which have to be strapped with a harness and a lap belt with the help of an aide. Some of the youngest ones can be difficult.
"They'll kick and scream and holler and we have to calm them down and try to get them situated and strapped in so we can continue on," said Theresa James, a bus driver.
It can take two minutes at a minimum to make sure each child is secure. James says that's when drivers behind her get upset.
"I've had people yell out the window using profanity, 'move the such and such bus,' blowing the horn constantly. It's crazy," she said.
Some drivers get tired of waiting and pass right by.
"If I didn't move fast enough for them, they'll just go on and ride past. It's frustrating," said James.
"For them to put our children in danger, it frightens me, but not only our children, their children as well," said Stephanie Mayo from White Rock Head Start.
Officer Nick Barb has taken many similar complaints throughout the city.
"People are going to do it. It's sad to say but they will pass the school bus," said Barb.
The law states that all drivers are to stop for a school bus if the sign is out and lights are flashing. Drivers are to remain stopped until the bus is back in motion.
A dose of patience can make everyone's commute smoother.
"See the yellow bus and please be patient and know that we are doing all that we can to keep the children safe and we'd like the public to do the same also," said Dorothy Holmes from White Rock Head Start.
The penalty for passing a school bus is a reckless driving charge. Plus a fine starting at $250 and court costs.