Drivers posing dangerous threat at Monette school bus stops

Bus Drivers Concerned For Students' Safety
Updated: Mar. 6, 2018 at 7:16 PM CST
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(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

MONETTE, AR (KAIT) - More danger has been pointed out at the Highway 18 bypass in Monette concerning school bus safety.

Region 8 News has extensively reported safety concerns after the bypass opened last year involving drivers.

First responders have worked several wrecks at the intersection of Highway 18 and 139.

Now, the concern shifts to school buses and children.

Buffalo Island Central officials urge commuters to slow down and abide by the law while students are being dropped off and picked up off the highway.

"We are having a lot of problems on Highway 18 since the bypass opened," the school's Transportation Director, Robbie Shirley said. "People are not stopping for our red lights on our buses when we stop."

Shirley said drivers seem to be confused about the law.

"They seem like they can just drive on by since it's a four-lane road with a turning lane now, they have to understand they have to stop regardless because there is not a median there," Shirley said.

Bus drivers see this issue too often. Shirley said he was recently faced with a close call as a driver passed the stopped bus on the highway.

"One incident happened where I had to grab a hold of the little girl's backpack," he said. "The car passed me on the right-hand side of the bus and the child was trying to get off. I grabbed her, pulled her into the bus, luckily I did or she would have probably been run over."

The Monette Police Department has since put a heavier police presence in bus-stop areas before and after school, according to Shirley. He said officers have made multiple traffic stops concerning the issue.

He simply wants people to slow down and pay close attention.

"If it was your kids what would you do," he said. "I mean I would hope you would want your kids safe. "Stay off the phones, quit texting. pay attention. I know you come home from work in the afternoons and you're tired, but these kids' lives mean more than anything."

Shirley told Region 8 News they have adjusted the bus routes to keep kids from having to cross the highway.

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