by Rebecca Talley
My children ride the bus each day to school and then home again. We live on a two-lane highway with no shoulder. When the bus stops to pick-up or drop-off my kids it first flashes amber lights, and then red. There is no way to pass the bus, or any car, on this highway without entering into the oncoming lane.
For some reason, a few drivers seem to think that flashing red lights on a bus means to go around the bus as fast as possible. My children and I have been almost hit on many occasions and the only reason my kids are still alive is because I'm always there to make sure they're safe. I've physically pushed my kids back when a semi-truck kept driving past even though the red lights were flashing.
One particular morning, I placed my children on the bus and walked in front of the bus to then walk across the other lane to my driveway. I began to step out into the lane, assuming drivers had already stopped, when in a flash I heard the bus horn and jumped back. A driver, clearly with more important things to do than to avoid hitting me, had attempted to pass the bus and had almost hit me. He then realized he wasn't going to get away with anything and backed up behind the bus. I walked over to his car and told him that the bus driver and I were both going to write down his license plate and report him to the state police. He replied, "I was going to stop."
I said, "After you hit and killed me in front of my children there on the bus?" I then lectured him on driving safely around children and the bus and recited the bus laws. I don't know whatever happened, but I sure hope the state police fined him.
Today another driver, in too much of a hurry to respect the lives of me or my children, sped past the bus. What is the deal? Is my life or the lives of my children not worth an extra 2 minutes of someone's time? Any driver can pass the bus after a stop and our bus doesn't stop again for a few miles. Yet time and time again, I see careless drivers who simply have no respect for people's lives. It's scary.
So, here's fair warning. I report offending drivers. If you ever speed past the bus in front of my house, I'll report you. And, if I catch you, I'll give you a piece of my mind and it won't be pretty.