Many Drivers Putting Students In Danger - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Many Drivers Putting Students In Danger

Posted: Updated:
BOZEMAN -

The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services annual survey said 85,279 drivers illegally passed a school bus while picking up or dropping off students in 29 states, including Montana, last year.

It is a trend many school bus drivers are seeing across the state.

"For whatever reason, we have our share of motorists that run through the red light," said Robert Evans, Belgrade Public Schools transportation director.

"We seem to have a problem on some major streets where people just totally disregard the bus and it is scary," said Stacy Roberts, First Student's Bozeman manager.

It is scary because Roberts says getting on and off the bus is the most dangerous place for a child, and many drivers aren't stopping for the bus.

Parents are concerned too.

"It is not only harmful for the children, but it is harmful for everybody," said Mirandee Drube, Belgrade Middle School parent. "I'm in the concern of my own children and everybody else on that bus."

Montana's law, like many states, requires drivers to prepare to stop when they see the yellow warning lights flashing on the school bus and stop when the red lights flash and the stop sign is extended.

ABC FOX Montana stood at a bus stop along Jackrabbit Lane January 17 and saw three people pass the bus while it was picking up Belgrade Middle School students. The bus driver, Sandra Joubert, said she has people run her stop arm several times a week at different stops on her route.

"Jackrabbit is terrible," said Joubert. "It's pretty constant on Jackrabbit. And for most of the drivers that drive Jackrabbit, they have the same problem."

She also has people pass her at stops on Valley Center Road and in the Valley Grove subdivision, which makes up most of her route.

It isn't a problem just in Belgrade. Roberts said they have two or three drivers a day saying they had someone run their stop arm. First Student driver Kelley Cabrera said she has people not stop for her bus almost daily.

"More times than not I have about six people who run my reds during the day, in the morning," said Cabrera. "I generally have more in the afternoon."

There are consequences for not stopping for a school bus while it is picking up and dropping off students.

The Bozeman Police Department issued 43 citations last year to people who didn't stop for school buses, up significantly from eight in 2011.

Montana Highway patrol issued 35 citations statewide in 2013, up from 22 in 2012.

Roberts said they report the best they can, turning in about six drivers a week to the police, but they can't always get what they need.

"The police work really well with us and going and issuing citations when we are able to get license plates and descriptions, but that happens too infrequent unfortunately," said Roberts.

Montana Highway Patrol Sergeant Patrick McLaughlin said they would issue more citations when they get everything they need, but they run into problems.

"Sometimes we're not getting a good license plate," said McLaughlin. "Sometimes the license plate doesn't back to the description of the vehicle, or when our officers go and check the area, they aren't finding the vehicle."

McLaughlin said they have special patrols to catch people who are not stopping at bus stops.

"We'll put a trooper on the bus and a trooper in the unmarked car and if something that happens, the trooper on the bus will actually call ahead," said McLaughlin.

McLaughlin said they haven't done that for a few years because they haven't had the manpower, but after seeing our video of three cars passing the school bus, he plans to get that program going again.

Montana law doesn't require a police officer to witness the violation, but if someone is able to get your license plate number, vehicle description and your description if you pass a school bus, you can face a fine up to $500, plus two points on your license.

 

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • WATCH: Cell Phone Video Of Sinking Ferry Released As 270 Are Still Missing

    WATCH: Cell Phone Video Of Sinking Ferry Released As 270 Are Still Missing

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:21 PM EDT2014-04-18 20:21:35 GMT
    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - Searchers have now put markers on the surface of the water where the South Korean ferry went down. Part of the ship had remained above the surface until today, but now the entire vessel is submerged. They're continuing the effort to find some 270 people who are missing and feared dead.
    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - Searchers have now put markers on the surface of the water where the South Korean ferry went down. Part of the ship had remained above the surface until today, but now the entire vessel is submerged. They're continuing the effort to find some 270 people who are missing and feared dead.
  • Hotels Continue To Build In Bozeman

    Hotels Continue To Build In Bozeman

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:07 PM EDT2014-04-19 00:07:18 GMT
    The city of Bozeman could see up to five new hotels by 2015. The Comfort Suites in Bozeman is one of three new hotels built off Valley Center in the past year."Since then we have been growing and developing,"
    The city of Bozeman could see up to five new hotels by 2015.
  • UM Easter Egg Hunt Goes Green

    UM Easter Egg Hunt Goes Green

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:06 PM EDT2014-04-19 00:06:34 GMT
    With thousands of plastic eggs set to speckle the lawn at the University of Montana this weekend, a Missoula business is keeping the event green. Missoula Federal Credit Union is making recycling
    With thousands of plastic eggs set to speckle the lawn at the University of Montana this weekend, a Missoula business is keeping the event green.
  • UPDATE: Deadly Shooting In Spokane Valley; Authorities Looking For Witnesses

    UPDATE: Deadly Shooting In Spokane Valley; Authorities Looking For Witnesses

    Wednesday, February 12 2014 11:40 PM EST2014-02-13 04:40:22 GMT
    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - One man was shot and killed following a high speed pursuit that ended near the Spokane Valley Mall on Tuesday night. It started around 7:00 PM when Spokane Police received a call from a man who was in a car claiming to be unstable and threatening suicide by forcing police to shoot him. 
    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - One man was shot and killed following a high speed pursuit that ended near the Spokane Valley Mall on Tuesday night. It started around 7:00 PM when Spokane Police received a call from a man who was in a car claiming to be unstable and threatening suicide by forcing police to shoot him. 
  • Man Identified In Fatal Crash Friday Morning On Bowdish Rd.

    Man Identified In Fatal Crash Friday Morning On Bowdish Rd.

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:13 PM EDT2014-04-18 20:13:11 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The man killed in an early morning crash on Friday has been identified as 34-year-old, Alejandro E. Apodaca. Just before 12:30, Apodaca crashed his car on S. Bowdish Rd. He was traveling South on Bowdish near 17th when he lost control of his car, uprooting a tree in the front yard of a home.
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The man killed in an early morning crash on Friday has been identified as 34-year-old, Alejandro E. Apodaca. Just before 12:30, Apodaca crashed his car on S. Bowdish Rd. He was traveling South on Bowdish near 17th when he lost control of his car, uprooting a tree in the front yard of a home.
  • Forest Service Wants Ski Areas Open Longer

    Forest Service Wants Ski Areas Open Longer

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:13 PM EDT2014-04-19 00:13:32 GMT
    For the most part, the ski season is either over or winding down, but that doesn't mean the resorts have to close until next winter. Nationally, there are more than 100 ski areas on nearly 180,000
    For the most part, the ski season is either over or winding down, but that doesn't mean the resorts have to close until next winter.
  • Frontage Road Crash Victim Identified

    Frontage Road Crash Victim Identified

    Thursday, April 17 2014 1:37 PM EDT2014-04-17 17:37:02 GMT
    The Gallatin County coroner says 30-year-old Kari Friedman from Bozeman died in a crash at the intersection of Frontage and Valley Center Roads Wednesday. The Montana Highway Patrol said Friedman was turning
    The Gallatin County coroner says 30-year-old Kari Friedman from Bozeman died in a crash at the intersection of Frontage and Valley Center Roads Wednesday.
  • WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS: 150 Pound Bernese Mountain Dog Attacked By Two Pit Bulls

    WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS: 150 Pound Bernese Mountain Dog Attacked By Two Pit Bulls

    Friday, April 4 2014 5:11 PM EDT2014-04-04 21:11:26 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - KHQ received a call into our newsroom from a viewer who was very upset with the way SCRAPS has handled her dog getting attacked by two pit bulls in their own front yard. Last Friday, March 28th, her stepson let their dog, a 150-pound dog outside in the front yard when he was attacked by two pit bulls.
    SPOKANE, Wash. - KHQ received a call into our newsroom from a viewer who was very upset with the way SCRAPS has handled her dog getting attacked by two pit bulls in their own front yard. Last Friday, March 28th, her stepson let their dog, a 150-pound dog outside in the front yard when he was attacked by two pit bulls.
Powered by WorldNow

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.