Bonneville School District buckling down on bus safety

Bonneville county schools buckling down on bus safety

BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Bonneville School District 93 has seen an increase of stop-arm violations. That's when cars go around school buses that have the flashing stop sign out.

It's a huge safety concern because there is the risk of children getting hit. 

"Whether the red lights are flashing, the yellow lights are flashing or there are no lights flashing. Remember there are kids around those school buses, sometimes their behavior can be unpredictable, they may not see a car and be excited to go home and bolt into traffic," says Deputy Daniel Sperry, Bonneville County.

The violation doesn't go without consequence.

"We have a hard drive system and camera system on our buses so we're able to see the traffic pattern from the drivers side where the stop arm is and we're able to capture the license plate and in some cases we are able to capture the face recognition," says Micheal Graham, District 93 Transportation.

These violations put children at risk. Something that hits close to home for Deputy Sperry.

"My daughter was killed getting off a school bus in our front yard in Wyoming. And she was 11 years old, it was five days before Christmas. We spent Christmas Eve writing our daughter's eulogy."

Darlene Bender, a bus driver for the district, has seen these violations firsthand.

"What we've had school for what, a month and a half, not quite two months and I myself have already had several violations," says Bender.

She also told me a story about the close call when someone tried to go around her bus.

"Instead of going on the left-hand side they thought they wouldn't be in trouble if they passed me on the right-hand side. Well, I was letting out three children, they saw what was happening and they ran down the street away from that vehicle and it was so close to them getting hit. And that young man in that car was so scared that he followed me for a mile to apologize."

Be patient, stop, and wait when you see this sign.

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