Bus Safety Concerns in Luzerne Co. as School Starts

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SHICKSHINNY -- You might have noticed extra patrols around bus stops today in one part of Luzerne County. The Northwest Area School District near Shickshinny said drivers aren't stopping for school buses as students get picked up.

Hopping on the bus to school is supposed to be one of the more fun parts of the day, but in the Northwest Area School District near Shickshinny, there's a concern about safety. In this first week of school, the superintendent said people have driven past buses picking up children at three different bus stops. Each time, the school bus had its lights on and stop sign out in the road.

"As a father, as a parent, I was very angry and annoyed that somebody would be that stupid," said Northwest Area School District Superintendent, Dr. Ron Grevera.

Drivers on both sides of the road are supposed to stop for school buses with their lights on, unless there's a barrier. However, the superintendent said drivers ran the stop at Sunshine and Mountain Roads, as well as stops on Union Street and Route 11. All of the students getting picked up were elementary age.

Parents said maybe with the beginning of the school year just underway, people have forgotten the rules about how to drive with buses, but administrators said this is the time to be extra cautious.

"School did just start. Maybe people driving aren't really aware that they should be stopping," said , Carolyn DeMarest, a parent in the Northwest Area School District.

"If there's a bus, there's children. There's either children on the bus or on the side of the road, and it's important now that school's open, that everybody kind of watch," said Dr. Grevera.

One bus driver in the Northwest Area School District said many people don't know the law, but she said it's important to learn it for the sake of the kids.

"They just want to go home or go to school, and they're not paying attention to the traffic. Especially if you have a blind area, people just travel too fast," said Lori Harvey, a bus driver in the Northwest Area School District.

The superintendent said state police will continue to patrol district bus stops to prevent drivers from driving past school buses.

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