Study: Millions of drivers do not stop during school bus stops - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Study: Millions of drivers do not stop during school bus stops

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
BROSELEY, MO (KFVS) -

By one estimate, American drivers illegally passed school buses more than 13 million times in 2015.

In Austin, Texas alone, police sent citations for the crime to 6,600 drivers in the first four months after cameras were installed on a school bus.

On average, roughly eight kids a year are killed by drivers who ignore school bus stop signs.

Everyone with a Missouri license knows it’s law to stop when it's flashing, but school bus drivers say sometimes that doesn’t happen.

“I say in a month it happens at least a time or two," bus driver Kurt Lichtenegger

Lichtnegger said while dropping students off at their stops, he makes sure not to allow anyone to get off until it’s safe.

“I’ve had cars pass my stop arm coming at me and where I can see the driver and you can tell they were in a daze," he said. "They were focused on where they wanted to go and they didn’t have a clue that bus was there.”

Recent video out of Texas shows a student getting hit after getting off a school bus.

Lichtenegger said the trust students have that drivers will stop sometimes leaves them walking into harm’s way.

“They just get used to it being safe and so that’s what get kids," he said. "You see these videos when they walk on out because they’re used to that bus stopping that traffic!”

But even with state law signs on the bus, Lichtenegger said he doesn’t understand how drivers tend to miss them.

“I mean it’s in six-inch black and yellow it states on the bus, ‘State Law Stop While Bus is Loading and Unloading’," Lichtnegger said. "How you’re following the bus and miss two stop arms and that I don’t know.”

“It’s not that hard just to stop and wait," student David Deken said. 

Deken said drivers tend to not think about the importance of stopping at a school bus until it’s too late.

“It’s not really enforced," he said. "I’ve never seen it, I’ve never heard of someone getting in trouble unless they hit someone.”

“It scares me that some people don’t care enough to pay more attention or follow the laws in general," Mark Mcintosh said.

Some schools have a camera mounted on the outside of the bus to catch drivers who decide to disregard the stop sign.

Twin Rivers currently does not, but I’m told school leaders are looking into that possibly in the future.

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