School Bus Stop Accidents Becoming Too Numerous (Opinion)
The news this week has been filled with stories about children being injured and killed while waiting for the school bus.
My first question is why? Are these people who are hitting these children just ignorant? Or have electronics played a part in it and caused drivers to become distracted?
I'm sure there are a number of excuses that can be used to defend oneself in an instance like that. But they are hollow.
When you are in a school bus area, when you see children walking towards school, when you drive early in the morning when children are going to school, there is no more important matter than watching out for the children.
For those who regularly go past school areas, or areas where the school bus picks up children, your attention is on where you are and where the children are, not cell phones or car radios or anything else.
Where was this lesson lost? When did flashing lights stop indicating to drivers that care was needed? Are these lessons not being taught anymore in driver's ed? Have they eliminated that information from the handbook given to prospective new drivers?
Or have we just reached a point where who we are and what we are doing is far more important than the safety of our children?
For the record, here is what the law says you are to do when driving in a school zone or around a school bus or using a cell phone.
School Bus: You must stop your vehicle at least 20 feet before reaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing whether it is on your side of the road, the opposite side of the road, or at an intersection, you are approaching. You must remain stopped until the flashing red lights are no longer operating. Watch carefully for children near the school bus and children crossing the roadway before proceeding. You are not required to stop if the bus is traveling toward you on a roadway that is separated by a median or other physical barriers.
7.7 Using A Cell Phone Or Mobile Telephone While Driving
Colorado law prohibits drivers under 18 years age from using a cell or mobile phone while driving unless it is to contact the police or fire department or it is an emergency. Drivers 18 and older may not use a cell or mobile telephone for text messaging while driving unless it is to contact the police or fire department or it is an emergency.
Crosswalks: Crosswalks define the area where pedestrians are to cross the roadway. They exist whether the lines are marked or unmarked. You must stop behind the crosswalk to allow any pedestrians to cross. Whenever you approach any vehicle from the
rear that is stopped at a crosswalk, you may not pass that vehicle.
Pedestrians: When driving, you should yield the right-of-way to pedestrians under all conditions. Be particularly watchful for children, elderly and blind persons. Most blind persons are easily recognized by the white cane they carry and/or by their guide Dog. Pedestrians have the right-of-way at all intersections and crosswalks. Drivers must come to a complete stop and let the person pass safely.
I think those are pretty easy to understand, don't you?