A school bus is a special vehicle. Kari, the founder of JAK the App, considers the school bus a miracle of modern engineering. As part of my responsibilties with JAK the App, I research accidents and come across only the worst information in the news. I see behavior in my new town from bus drivers and regular drivers on the road that frightens me.
Recently, I was riding in the passenger seat on the way to the grocery store. I saw a school bus stopped on the median of the main road in my town. My view of the bus was only for a moment since I was three lanes away and on the opposite side of traffic. But, I could tell that the bus wasn’t empty and even with its hazards on and its stop arm out, other drivers were flying past it in the lane immediately beside the bus. I do not know what the bus was doing there. I didn’t see any other vehicles, I didn’t see any cops or smoke, just those flashing lights and the stop arm. I became infuriated at how drivers were passing by the bus without slowing down. When I pointed it out to my driver, he simply acknowledged it and kept going.
It is times like these that I remember that normal people don’t notice the big yellow bus like my family does. This terrifies me! School buses are an almost sacred entity to me, they carry the lives of children in their bright yellow carriages. To think that people would just zoom past without a thought tells me two things. One, even though for over 15 years the school bus has been proven to be the safest mode of transportation to school, we need to continue to improve safety and visibility of the bus. Two, no matter how well we train our drivers, our students, or our staff; the risk to children will never decrease until the public is properly trained as well.
Something needs to be done. The news only broadcasts what the industry should do and not what the public needs to be aware of. People need to be on the lookout for that brilliant yellow bus and take heed. When a driver decides to zoom around the bus after it caused them to stop for the third time in a row, they need to know exactly who they are about to hurt and what the consequences will be for everyone involved.