Philly Voice reports on a Philadelphia high school journalist’s observation of bus drivers ignoring a posted stop sign, endangering drivers of other vehicles travelling the through road.
Ricky Sayers, a Harriton high school student and an aspiring journalist, produces his own “Ricky Reports” video news on various issues both locally and nationally. Sayers conducted a study on the behavior of school buses leaving his high school for his last story before graduating this spring.
Concealed in nearby bushes with his camera on seven different days, he discovered 57 percent of buses taking students home in the afternoon did not stop for a posted stop sign at the intersection of Harriton High School’s driveway and the abutted street. Sayers recounts some buses performed rolling stops or simply “blew through” the stop.
Parents whom Sayers spoke to said the buses that failed to stop were “nothing new” but dangerous and scary. Video Sayers took shows a car braking abruptly to avoid hitting a bus that pulled out in front of it without stopping.
Sayers also watched traffic at a local middle school one day where 67 percent of buses did not stop at a stop sign intersection of the school driveway and street. At an elementary school another day, Sayers found a staggering 88 percent of departing buses loaded with children that failed to stop.
This investigation is made even more startling by the fact that the district’s bus drivers just won a safety competition a month earlier. Of course, says Sayers, this “begs the question of whether the bus drivers are running stop signs that aren’t at the schools.”
Bus drivers Sayers spoke to said they go through the sign without stopping when they see there is a break in traffic, and that their failure to stop is driven by a desire to save time. However, Richard Segal, Safety Foreman for the district, confirmed that the school buses should be following all traffic rules, including stopping at the stop sign.
While taking follow-up video at Harriton High School, Sayers was more visible than the first time, and noticed more bus drivers stopping than before, later finding that bus drivers had gotten a text instructing them to stop at the sign.
After receiving 27 minutes of video from Sayers, the District Supervisor of Transportation Uldis Vilcins responded in part, “We can not monitor our buses at all times and welcome outside observations. We will make our drivers aware of this deviation from correct procedures and work with them so that they follow vehicle laws at all times.”
Watch Sayers’ full report below.