Kremmling " West Grand officials, cameras eye drivers who don’t stop for buses
Grand County, Colorado
When the yellow lights flash, that’s a warning to drivers to slow down. Motorists who fail to stop for a school bus will be ticketed, gain points on their license or risk running over a child, said Dan Stock, East Grand School District director of transportation in Kremmling, Colorado.
School has only been in session 29 days, and the district already has had 40 bus runners, Stock added.
“We’ve always had this problem,” he said. “We’d like to bring it to the public’s attention again.”
East Grand School District has 20 bus drivers, including activity drivers, and 12 routes Monday through Thursday. When buses stop, red stop signs are displayed and red lights flash.
“That means that all traffic is to stop,” Stock added. “The consequence of that is that they can run over a child and kill them.”
When the door opens, a camera films the outside of the bus to identify the driver in the passing vehicle. Sometimes the camera can even focus in on what the driver is wearing. The scene is then saved on a disk and handed over to law enforcement, he said.
When a motorist runs a stop sign the bus driver is to notify the transportation office on their two-way radio. The office then notifies the city police, State Patrol or Sheriff’s Department, and officials will then write tickets for the bus runners.
About a dozen bus runners have been caught so far. Bus drivers are to write down everything they can to identify the driver.
“It is required that the bus drivers do call those bus runners in,” Stock added.
Routes with the most bus runners have patrol cars that follow the buses. Bus drivers sometimes have to honk at the children so a bus runner doesn’t hit them. Other times, vehicles look like they’re going to stop and don’t, he added.
“I don’t know what people are thinking,” Stock added. “The Sheriff’s Department and law enforcement tries to do everything they can to apprehend these people.”
Reasons people don’t slow down for the yellow lights or stop for the red stop sign is because they’re not paying attention, talking on cell phones, drinking coffee or day dreaming and don’t think they have to stop, Stock said.
He compares this with running a stop sign or stoplight, and said it’s not worth the risk of running over a child because a driver is in a rush to get some place.
Bus Safety Week
“We’re doing presentations to kindergarten and first grade,” Stock said.
They discuss loading and unloading buses, and he tells the students to beware of bus runners. They also talk about bus discipline.
Stock visited the Grand Lake Elementary students Tuesday and will meet with the Fraser and Granby Elementary students today.
” Katie Looby covers government and education for the Sky-Hi Daily News. You may reach her at 887-3334 ext. 19601 or email@example.com.
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