A plea to all drivers: STOP for the school bus!

6:30am. Dark, raining, a school bus with  flashing red lights and a stop sign out. This should make people more aware of their surroundings, right? Wrong. 

“That was close”

This morning I experienced something that no bus driver wants to even think about. Thankfully it didn’t end the way others have in the past month, but it sure was close and scary nonetheless. 

I was preparing to pick up my last stop for my elementary school route, three students and a parent were standing waiting on me on the left hand side of the road. I was in a neighborhood, the speed limit is 25 mph. As I approached my stop, I turned my amber lights on, slowed down, and saw a car coming in the other lane. I got to the stop, pulled my break and opened my door, the stop sign came out, lights flashing, the car was not stopping. I laid on the horn and the car was beside my window before they stopped. Thankfully there was a parent there and the kids have learned to wait to make sure the cars are going to stop before crossing the road or this could have ended tragically.

Two of the kids looked scared to death, I asked them if they were okay, they both said yes. The last one got on and said “I almost got run over!” I said “I know buddy are you okay,” “yeah but that was close!” Too close. 

STOP!

I am begging all drivers: please obey school bus laws, be aware of your surroundings, slow down! 

Every day I get behind the wheel of this vehicle and pray for the safety of myself and all the children I drive on a daily basis.

If you see a school bus in your lane or coming towards you, pay close attention to what it’s doing. Give the bus extra space and be prepared to stop suddenly as it loads or unloads the children.

If the school bus has all lights activated, the stop sign attached to the bus is extended, you see the door open and students either entering or exiting the bus, YOU MUST STOP! DO NOT roll by the bus at a crawl. DO NOT speed up to get past the bus that is already stopped with lights and safety protocol activated. DO NOT play chicken with the children who may or may not be in the road and paying attention to YOU.

All I ask other drivers to do is to be more aware of whats around them. Think before you run that flashing stop sign on the bus. 

The life you spare may just be your own kid.

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