JENKINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — State police are cracking down on drivers who buzz past school buses picking up kids.
School bus drivers say there have been a couple close calls in the past couple of weeks.
No one wants to see a child get hurt. But officials say more and more cars are speeding through school bus stops. So are they driving distracted or do they just not know the law?
“One close call is one too many,” STA terminal manager Janelle Davison said.
State police have a warning for drivers: stop for school buses.
Local bus drivers say they have seen an increase in motor vehicles passing school buses when they are stopped to let out or pick up children for school
“We had an incident last week where a driver got on the radio frantic because the little girl took one step off the bus and the car passed on the passenger side,” Davison said.
Eyewitness News caught up with a bus driver picking up students Monday in Plains Township. She says drivers blow right past her stopped school bus almost every day.
“Especially with the blind roads I mean they come flying through and even when they see it (red flashing lights) they sometimes hesitate even and then they still blow right through it or they speed up,” bus driver Desirae Toldeo said.
Toldeo says she’s had some close calls herself while driving her route.
“They know now to watch for my signals. I’m like ‘wait you know let me look…Ok go’. You can’t trust these signs anymore because people are going right through it,” Toldeo said.
The law in Pennsylvania states drivers, in both directions, must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended. This applies to any road that does not have a median, like Route 115 in Bear Creek Township.
“If there is not a barrier in between the lanes, the roadway there, you have to stop and wait until the bus deactivates the lights and the stop sign and the arm that comes out,” PSP Trooper Deanna Piekanski said.
PennDOT has placed new signs along 115 to remind motorists they need to stop both ways when school bus lights are flashing.
“Children you know can run out into the middle of the road. No one wants to see a child get hurt and you certainly don’t want to be the driver to hurt a child,” PennDOT community relations coordinator Jessica Ruddy said.
This reminder also goes to children and parents to look both ways crossing street to and from the bus. Drivers could be in a rush or distracted.