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KIMT NEWS 3 – Get ready because you can expect to see fleets of big yellow buses traveling down area roads. That means it’s time to take brush up on some school bus safety rules.
Driving a school bus full of kids is a big responsibility, keeping them safe is an even bigger one.
School Bus Driver, Thomas Horvath said, “There’s nothing that anyone transports anywhere in the world that’s more important than the young people that are being driven on school buses.”
Thomas Horvath has been taking students to and from school for 8 years and he’s seen some scary things when it comes other drivers getting impatient with his bus.
“I would say 4 or 5 time a year, somebody drives through my stop sign when the lights are read and the stop sign is out. They’re just not paying attention or their absorbed in something else, but sometimes they’ll just look right at you and just go through.”
He says there are very important rules folks need to keep in mind as the new school year begins.
Horvath said, “When the amber lights are flashing, the drivers need to slow down and be ready to stop. And then when the red lights are on and the stop arm comes out, they need to be prepared to fully stop before they get to the bus.”
Iowa DOT officials say running that stop arm isn’t only extremely dangerous, but can cost thousands of dollars in fines for repeat offenses.
Unfortunately not all of these drivers are caught.
Iowa DOT Traffic Technician, Bob Clark said, “Whenever vehicles pass school buses, the the driver is more concerned with the safety of the students than they are with trying to capture the license plate number of the vehicle.”
New laws like “Kaydn’s Law” have increased fines and even call for jail time for motorists who unlawfully pass school buses – Something Thomas thinks is highly necessary.
“I think the word is getting out there, it takes time, but I would assume it’s having some positive effect.”
And just because the lights have stopped flashing and the stop sign is pulled all the way in, doesn’t mean there may not be a child lagging behind you can’t see, so always just proceed with caution.