New Traffic Crackdown under Way; There's Another Accident Involving a School Bus in Northwestern St. Johns

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Scanlan, Staff writer

Police are planning a second wave of traffic enforcement around Northwest St. Johns County schools following another school bus accident Monday afternoon that sent three Bartram Trail High students to the hospital with minor injuries.

St. Johns County Sheriff's Office deputies had already been patrolling Durbin Creek Boulevard in the Julington Creek Plantation following accidents that injured three students walking to bus stops Jan. 7 and 13. They've written 15 speeding tickets as a result during four morning patrols.

This time, Sgt. David Ham said, they will focus their efforts near schools in the Florida 13, Race Track Road and Greenbriar Road areas to remind drivers to slow down.

"We will go back up there in the next few weeks and hit that area really hard, and it will be on days that I can field six to seven traffic units -- mostly motorcycles -- asking people to slow down and watch," said Ham, traffic supervisor for the county's north end.

"Drivers are so busy doing other things, talking on cell phones or doing business," he continued. "They are reading newspapers or books while driving. Every accident we have had in the past few weeks up there, speed could have been a contributor, but it is people not paying attention while driving."

The latest bus accident occurred around 3:20 p.m. Monday at Florida 13 and Bernath Road in Switzerland, when 44-year-old Bart Byrd's 1988 Plymouth Reliant station wagon hit a school bus dropping off students coming home from Bartram Trail High School. …