Bus drivers at Harlow’s, a company that buses more than 600 kids in Dickinson, say they've seen drivers far too often ignore their stop signs when they’re picking or dropping off kids. They say it’s becoming less of a driving issue and more of a safety concern.
“I honestly don’t know what the problem is other than they just flat ignore them,” bus driver Dwayne Haas said.
Haas says what frightens him the most about some drivers not stopping for their stop signs is the possibility a kid getting hit.
“That’s what scares me worse than anything else in this world,” Haas said.
Anneliese Schmidt has been a school bus driver in Dickinson for over 50 years. She’s seen a lot of impatient drivers in her day.
“I’ve had people that will pass two three cars that are stopped and go around them, go around me and that’s even worst," Schmidt said. "Now you think traffic is stopped and somebody is in such a hurry are just whizzing on through.“
The Dickinson police department is aware of the bus drivers sentiments about people not stopping. Dickinson PD says officers have rode on buses and determined it’s not that big of a problem since they’ve only issued one citation during that time.
Transportation manager for Harlow’s Burton Lewton disagrees with the police and a city ordinance that says officers can’t issue a citation to a driver when a bus is in a school loading zone.
“I think that is totally wrong," Lewton says about the city ordinance. "I think their city ordinances should be changed so when a stop arm comes out, it’s an automatic fine and I think it should be more than $50.”
Lewton says the city ordinance needs to change because whenever a school bus stop arm is out, drivers should simply stop.
“What’s it going to take to solve it, that’s what I like to know. Is it going to take a death? What’s it going to take to solve our problem.”
Although the Dickinson police department was unable to do an on-camera interview, Chief of Police Dustin Dassinger says that the police department takes child safety very seriously, but at the same time has to follow the city ordinance. He says they will continue to work closely with Harlow’s and raise awareness about stop arms and laws regarding school buses.
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