HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – In one given day, there were 265 illegal school bus passes across West Virginia. This is according to a survey done by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS).
This week, officials in the Mountain State have teamed up to reiterate the importance of remembering to stop for stopped school buses.
“In West Virginia for an entire year, if you take the amount of traffic that runs the school bus daily, multiply that by how many days there are in a school year and the runs a school bus do, you can look at least 2,000 potential hits – of a driver hitting a child,” says Beau Evan, the Traffic Safety Director for the city of Huntington.
In an attempt to get those numbers down, officials in Mason and Cabell Counties, as well as other counties across West Virginia, have been implementing what they call “specialized enforcement.”
“Law enforcement will either be riding on the school bus with students and monitoring anyone that does pass the school bus. They will radio to any cruisers in the area to come and write a citation to those individuals. We also have cruisers that will be following school bus routes in marked cruisers, to ensure folks are not passing school buses that way,” Evans explains.
He says although this initiative will only be for one week, he’s hoping this “rules of the road” reminder will stick with motorists and provide comfort to parents.
“We need to make sure that parents are comfortable sending their child on the school bus, that they are going to be safe. We need to try to get motorists to understand why it’s important to stop for a school bus. A child does not know the rules of the road, so they think it’s okay to cross even though it may not be. There may be someone distracted on their phone and doesn’t see the school bus that’s stopped and passes the school bus,” says Evans.