DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – From 2015 to 2017, 441 motor vehicle crashes involving a school bus happened in the Miami Valley, and statewide, 4,198 drivers were convicted for failing to stop for a school bus that was unloading or loading passengers.
“Don’t just assume or be in a hurry or things like that and try and scoot around a bus to try and get around it,” said Lt. Mark Nichols of Ohio State Highway Patrol. “Let the bus do what they’re doing. Let the bus pick the kids up safely and let them get where they’re going.”
Buses are already hitting the roads as drivers are getting used to the routes, but in the next few weeks, students will be boarding, prompting OSHP to remind motorists of the laws they must follow.
Motorists must stop at least 10 feet in front of or behind a school bus when flashing lights and an extended arm are displayed, and cannot resume driving until the school bus begins moving.
“The bus drivers actually have a complaint form that they can fill out where they can get a license plate number and they can submit that to the highway patrol and we’ll follow up on that,” said Nichols. “It can be a phone call interview or we can come to your house and interview you and find out what happened and we can actually file a charge based on that school bus complaint.”
Nichols said this is just a minor misdemeanor, but it does require a court date.
He wants everyone to make driving with no distractions a priority and leave a few minutes early when heading out on the morning commute.
“That bus stopping ahead of you every couple of hundreds of yards to pick up kids can get frustrating and that’s when people can lose their temper or lose their patience and just want to get around, and that’s when the accidents happen,” said Nichols.