And it was not as I was sleeping. It happened as I was driving my morning route yesterday morning (8/25/11). It was my last stop picking up children.
This year I had part of the town of Cassville added to my route. I pick up thirty to forty children on this extra leg of my run; and drop them off of the evening before I head out of town to run the rural area of my route.
On this morning I put my yellow overhead lights on. They were flashing at least 500 feet before the stop; there was on coming traffic; some not making any seeming effort to prepare to stop. As I pulled to the stop one pickup truck went by as I was opening the door for the stop sign to come out and the red lights started flashing. The boy I was picking up from the left side of the road came running out of the house toward the street with an oncoming Chevy Tahoe, burgundy in color; the boy running toward the bus, looking at the bus, seemingly unaware of the oncoming traffic. I am screaming for him to stop; hoping that he will hear me. I am screaming, “Stop. Stop. Stop.” I should have laid on my horn; but I did not even get the license plate number of the Tahoe.
The boy did finally stop when he reached the edge of the street/highway and the Tahoe went right on through the stop sign with red flashing lights. Question. How does someone miss seeing a large yellows School Bus with yellow or red flashing lights. Red flashing lights in the stop sign on the left side of the bus. Red flashing lights overhead on the bus.
I don’t know this for a fact, but my thoughts tell me that this person, male or female, was had one of those pieces of technology attached to their ear called a cell phone. What are we supposed to be doing when we are behind the steering wheel of a car? Driving. Driving, especially in the city or a small town like Cassville; requires devotion to driving. Concentrating on what you are doing.
DON’T BE STUPID! How would you feel if you hit a child and killed, maimed and/or injured them?
A few years ago when I was driving a bus in Farmington, MO. I saw a kindergarten girl hit by a car as I was getting ready to pull up to a stop where several apartment children met to ride the bus. It was a horrifying sight. I was relieved when I got there that she was not injured, but just in case, her father took her to get checked out.
Again, DON’T BE STUPID. Schools are beginning to be in session. Drive with care. Notice those big yellow monsters called School Buses. They are hauling the most precious cargo. Your children and grand children.
Just another reflection from the banks of Flat Creek.