Driver speaks out: For kids' sake—stop!

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December 13, 2016 12:00 AM

THIS MEANS STOP Lloydminster Catholic School Division bus driver, Joline Anger, wants to remind motorists to stop for the school bus when the stop sign is out and the red lights are flashing. So far this school year she said at least seven drivers have blown through her bus's stop sign, putting children and parents at risk. JAIME POLMATEER LLS PHOTO

Anyone with a valid driver’s licence should know to stop for the school bus when the stop sign is out and the lights are flashing.
But it seems some people around the Border City have forgotten that vital tidbit, and vital it is, because the rule is in place to protect the lives of school aged youngsters.
Joline Anger, local school bus driver for the Lloydminster Catholic School Division, said she’s had people drive through her bus’s stop sign at least seven times since the start of this school year.
“I’m just asking people to, when they stop for a school bus, to stay stopped until the crossing arm comes in, because for my route personally, I’ve been having a lot of people who’ll stop and they look around and they don’t see any children and they drive through,” Anger said.
“I’ve actually a number of times, honked my horn and tried to get them to stop and I’ve had people wave at me and everything, and then just drive through, meanwhile I still have kids coming.”
She added the dangers are obvious for this kind of behaviour, as children and their parents could risk getting hit while walking to and from the bus if people don’t wait for the stop sign to retract and the lights to stop flashing.
One personal example she used was a recent stop where a kindergarten girl was getting off the bus, her mom there to help her, and an oncoming driver stopped only briefly then went again before the mother and daughter could cross the street.
He couldn’t see the pair because they were on the door side of the bus, and narrowly avoided hitting them when they came around the other side to cross the street.
“It’s one of those things; I realize people know they’re supposed to stop for school buses, but it almost seems like they don’t realize they need to stay stopped until we shut the stop sign off, like they think it’s like a road sign, and for us bus drivers, our stop sign doesn’t close until we close our door to the bus itself, so it’s not like in this -30 weather, we’re just keeping them open for the heck of it,” said Anger.
“As soon as the kids are either safely on the bus, or safely on the sidewalk, depending on if it’s morning or afternoon, we obviously want to get our doors closed and traffic flowing as soon as possible.”
Anger has been driving school buses for 13 years, with this being her second in Lloydminster, and now does two runs, with one of them containing up to 14 stops.
In all she drives for about 35 families, everyone one of which she’d like to remain intact and safe from preventable mishaps, like injuries of death due to people blowing through her vehicle’s stop sign.
Her message to the public is simple and serves only to protect the children she chauffeurs to school and back—please be patient when the school bus’s light are flashing.
“Just give the kids, like, 30 second of your time so they can get to school or home safely,” she said.

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