Motorist Still Ignoring School Bus Laws

FEBRUARY 28, 2006 -- POSTED AT 9:00 P.M. CST
JONESBORO, AR -- No children were injured today, but bus drivers say it's just a matter of time. Nettleton school bus drivers invited us along to witness the dangers first-hand.

"Sometimes you'll catch somebody by surprise and you can tell they're not gonna stop, so we hold open the door a little longer and let them go on by before we open the door, cause you know we try to be as courteous as we can, but its gotten to the point now, we've been sitting there 2, 3, 4, 5 seconds and people are just still buzzing by like we're not even sitting there," says Ricky Glenn, Nettleton Director of Transportation.

It keeps happening...drivers ignoring the law which states motorists must stop for a school bus loading or unloading children. What most people don't know is that it includes oncoming traffic, as well as traffic behind the bus.

Over the past ten years, an average of 29 children were killed in school bus related-pedistrian accidents, struck while getting on or off the school bus. L ast year, Arkansas Lawmakers passed a law that calls for stricter penalities for motorist that pass a stopped school bus. So, the law is there, but we have proof...that doesn't seem to stop the problem.

"I guess a lot of people don't know the law or they just ignore on through the stop light," says Clark McDaniel, Nettleton School Bus Driver and Teacher.

The only highway in Jonesboro that makes an exception is Highway 63. Oncoming traffic is not expected to stop, since the highway is separated by a grassy median. But motorists just don't seem to understand that. Bus drivers say that has to change...otherwise a child could be injured or even die as a result. 

"Just think if it was your kid getting off or getting on the bus and how you would want other people to take their safety into consideration," says McDaniel.