Letters to the Editor Feb. 09, 2012

Written by Del Norte Triplicate Readers February 11, 2012 12:34 am

Stop running through school bus red lights, endangering children

 As a school bus driver, I see child endangerment almost every day. I see cars and trucks passing school buses while the bus has the red lights flashing and the stop arm on the left side of the bus is activated. The stop arm also has flashing red lights. It is not like there has been no warning that the red lights were going to come on, the amber lights were flashing beforehand.

The law requires the bus driver to activate the amber lights 200 feet from the bus stop the bus is approaching. The amber lights are to warn the other drivers that the flashing red lights are coming on as soon as the bus stops at the bus stop.

The law, as interpreted by the California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Education, also says the bus driver must have the red lights activated and on for as long as he or she is stopped for the purpose of loading or unloading students. That means the red lights are on when the students enter the bus, while they find their seat, and until they buckle the seat belts (yes, over half the Del Norte School District buses have seat belts). The lights are on also while the students are leaving the bus to go home.

Please, please stop running through the red lights before there is a terrible accident. If you are unsure of anything related to the lights on school buses, what they mean, where and when to stop, contact the Highway Patrol, any police officer, or the school district to find out the laws before something bad happens.

Let’s keep the children safe. The life you save is someone’s child, grandchild, or great-grandchild. The flashing red lights mean stop, and stop means do not drive your car, truck or bicycle past a school bus while the red lights are flashing.

George Layton

Crescent City