BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - It's back to school time, and we want to remind you to be patient with school buses. With all the construction around, you need to be very careful. Going around a school bus stop arm is a misdemeanor and results in a mandatory court date, but even worse, you could kill a student.
With the growing population, this is one of the biggest school years for Bonneville County. New bus drivers, changed routes and a lot of students.
"On Ammon Road, if a school bus were to stop here you would have to stop regardless of which direction you're going. One of the side roads if a school bus were to stop here you would have to stop for the school bus going that way. Hitt Road here if you're going the same direction as the bus you have to stop, if you're going the opposite direction you do not have to. That's only on roads that are greater than three lanes. If it's a northbound lane, a turn lane and a southbound lane you still have to stop because that's only three lanes," says Deputy Daniel Sperry with Bonneville Sheriff's Office.
This is a topic close to Deputy Sperry's heart.
"In 2011 my daughter Makayla was killed coming off the school bus. Since then, after her homicide trial, I recognized what I could do as a parent to keep my kid safe, as a law enforcement officer how I can improve the safety of the kids. And I go around and I share her story with transportation districts."
Deputy Sperry has shared Makayla's story throughout the west and in parts of Canada. He wants drivers to know the extreme consequences that could come from an impatience.
Consequences bigger than a fine or a misdemeanor.
"My daughter was 11 when she died. It was days before Christmas, and I can't imagine the horror that that driver of the vehicle that hit her, what he has to live with, and then the nightmares that the bus driver has, and also the other kids on the bus. There were kids on my daughter's bus that witnessed her death and had to testify in her court trial."
A moment of impatience could cost a child their life. So remember to wait for school buses.
If you want to know more about Makayla's story, go here.
School buses are equipped with cameras that can take photos of your license plate and sometimes you as the driver. You will be ticketed and again that is a misdemeanor which is a mandatory court date.