You’re stopped at a red light, driving home from a late night out. It’s after midnight, and there are no other cars around (and no cameras, as far as you can tell).
No one would even know if you just went through the light. There’s no one else for miles so you’re not endangering anyone or yourself. Do you drive through it? Many people would.
Different scenario: There’s a school bus stopped ahead of you, but it’s not in your lane. Do you stop? Do you not?
Some mothers in Pasco County, Florida, have had just about enough with drivers who do not stop. Monica Douglas and Kristen Rieger are two of the moms who don’t appreciate the way people behave around the school pick-up.
You’ve probably seen the little stop sign that pops up on the backs of school buses when they stop, and the warnings that state traffic must stop when the buses stop.
But drivers don’t always respect these rules. There are cases where people blatantly ignore the rules and put lives in danger, and there are other cases that are a bit more confusing.
Douglas is convinced this is a straightforward case, but others weren’t so sure: They ended up with tickets. She started filming the bus stop where kids get on, and yelling at drivers who continued driving by without stopping.
US 19 has multiple lanes, and a bus stops on the right-most lane twice a day to pick up and drop off students. According to ABC 15, the Pasco County School District acknowledges that it’s not an ideal setup, but they’re doing the best they can.
“We know that the safest place to pick students up is in the neighborhoods that they live in,” the district revealed in an email, but “this is the closest access point for these students living back off of Butch St. as the surrounding area is all commercial property.”
Apparently, parking lots nearby wouldn’t work either, as they are private property and the buses can’t use them without permission.
Douglas began filming the videos as a way to shame the drivers and bring awareness to others, and her story was picked up and passed around.
As a result, some cops decided to jump in and do something about the situation. They showed up one day, waited for the herd of cars to pass up the bus, and blocked the road. They then directed all the cars to pull to the side of the road, and a cop gave each driver a ticket.
“As we have been posting about this morning, IT IS THE LAW to stop for stopped school buses,” the Pasco Sheriff’s Office posted to its Facebook page. “This is to protect the children who are unloading from the bus. With recent reports of infractions, an Enforcement Action Plan was created for a noted bus stop on US 19.”
“This body worn camera video from Deputy Justin Smith shows himself and Deputy Ashlyn Reese making several traffic stops yesterday morning as vehicles continued driving past a stopped bus as children were unloading.”
“These enforcement actions will continue. We share this video and the post from earlier today to raise awareness to this issue and help to stop it from occurring any more.”
The location of the stop seems like a bad idea, and the district seems unable to change it. Hopefully these videos will remind people to be more aware of school buses in order to protect young lives.
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