Parents, Bus Drivers Come Together to Avert Tragedies

By Mizejewski, Gerald | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 31, 2001 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Parents, Bus Drivers Come Together to Avert Tragedies

Mizejewski, Gerald, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)

Since the start of the school year, 23 motorists have ignored the stop arm and flashing lights on the Montgomery County school bus that stops at Route 28 and Turkey Foot Road.

Laura Bivans knows because she's out there every morning with her daughter, keeping a log and sometimes even videotaping the offenders who speed past.

"It's very frustrating to stand out there and see people not caring about children," said Mrs. Bivans, who started keeping track after her daughter had a near-miss. "They just don't care."

And that's just one student at one stop in one county. While the problem isn't new, there is growing concern among suburban educators that preoccupied, aggressive drivers and the modern, hurry-up mentality are putting students at risk across the region.

"We must control this situation before a student is seriously injured or killed," said David Miller, associate superintendent for school services in Prince William County.

"My biggest fear is that I won't be able to retire before I'm called to an accident where a child's been hit by a car," said John Matthews, assistant director of transportation at Montgomery County schools.

Nationwide, 22 children died in school-bus loading and unloading zones during the 1999-2000 school year, though none in the D.C. area, according to a survey by the Kansas State Department of Education. The national figure was 18 the previous school year and 10 the year before that.

Last week, the Prince William school system joined several others in the area that instruct their bus drivers to record for police the license-plate numbers of bus-stop lawbreakers.

By law, offenders in Prince William can be charged with reckless driving and fined $250.

However, most of these efforts are all bark and no bite.

Montgomery County authorities, for instance, just mail warning letters to the address listed for the license-plate number. According to Maryland law, police are to send a warning to the car's owner if the offender cannot be identified by the bus driver.

In the case of Prince William County, police Sgt. Kim Chinn said a bus driver would have to identify a motorist and plate number and then go before a magistrate. Most bus drivers will not go to the trouble, can't identify the offending motorist or don't have the time.

In Delaware, a long-standing law makes it easier for police and bus drivers, said Ted Tull, administrative director of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Parents, Bus Drivers Come Together to Avert Tragedies


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?