A Plea to Drivers: Obey School Bus Laws

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- The issue of bus stop safety is front and center after five children were killed just this week in crashes across the country. Ten others were also injured.

The latest crashes happened Thursday, one in western Pennsylvania when the bus driver near Altoona found the body of a 7 year old who had been hit by a car at his bus stop.

The bus drivers we spoke with tell us distracted drivers are partially to blame for close calls they have seen in Lycoming County.

A plea to drivers: obey school bus laws.

Long before students are at the bus stop, every day, twice a day, Stephanie Evelhair makes sure her bus is ready to safely hit the road in Williamsport

Williamsport Area School District uses buses owned by Student Transportation of American to transport hundreds of students every day.

"I think there needs to be more when they are getting their driver's license. There needs to be more questions during the test. There needs to be more in the book about proper procedure when you come up to a bus and there are flashing yellow or red lights," Evelhair said.

Evelhair is a bus driver but she's also a mom. Two of her boys ride her bus every day.

Evelhair says drivers run her stop sign more than she'd like to admit.

"A guy came flying down the road as she was crossing, and I had to lay on the horn to get her attention and by the time he stopped, she had just reached the other side of the road. He wouldn't have stopped if I didn't lay on my horn," Evelhair said.

There is a camera installed in each one of the buses. If someone runs that stop sign, they have proof to show police.

"We'll get concerns from parents about a certain stop maybe being a safety concern and I'll go out and look," said Scott Williams, director of people transportation for Williamsport Area School District.

Recent crashes have him concerned. He hopes that drivers keep their eyes on the road.

"When they are on the bus, they are extremely safe. It's when they are getting on and off the bus that there is the largest safety concern. That's really where we lack control. Because the one thing we can't control is the drivers."

Evelhair says she would like to see more education early on for drivers. She believes if people knew more about what to do when a bus stops, accidents could be prevented.

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