Roundup: Ohio Woman Caught on Video Illegally Passing School Bus on Sidewalk

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It’s amazing what people will do to shorten their morning commutes. A Cleveland woman made headlines last week for finally being caught on camera driving on a sidewalk to avoid stopping for a school bus.

Police cited her after being notified by witnesses notified them of her reckless driving around the bus that every morning stops — with flashing lights activated — to pick up a wheelchair-bound student. Based on tips from the community, officers were waiting on East 38th Street and pulled over the driver last Tuesday morning. The driver’s mother defended her daughter’s driving by saying she was in a hurry and East 38th Street was her fastest route. C’mon, Mom, bad judgment is bad judgment.

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NASDPTS Executive Director Bob Riley appreciated the latest blog by Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation, that reminded parents, caregivers and all drivers to stay alert and drive responsibly now that our nation’s students are traveling to and from school every day. “Thanks to Mr. LaHood for emphasizing the importance of safe driving practices and full attention to the driving task especially in school zones and crosswalks before and after school hours,” wrote Riley.

He added that he wished LaHood had consulted with school transportation officials in order to include information about the dangers of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses. The 2012 National Stop Arm Violation Count that NASDPTS conducted this spring recorded 39,760 total stop-arm passing incidents, which often involved several cars per incident. While reports were not available from all states, in a typical 180-day school year, this sample of 88,025 vehicles that illegally passed school buses represent nearly 16 million violations.

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Two elementary and two middle school students took top honors in Kansas’ 2012 National School Bus Safety Poster Contest. The theme this year is “Stand back from the yellow and black.” Sponsored by the Kansas State Department of Education, the poster contest aims to teach school children to exercise caution around school buses during loading and unloading. Students must be reminded to stand away from the bus until it has pulled to a complete stop and the bus driver instructs them to board. Every year in the U.S. a dozen students, on average, are killed in the school bus “danger zone” by other vehicles.

The 2012 poster contest winners are:

Division K-2: Second-grader Lindsay Mueller of Linn

Division 3-5: Third-grader Emma Mirkes of McPherson

Division 6-8: Eighth-grader Olga Vargas of Valley Center

These entries will be judged alongside other states’ submissions during the NAPT Summit in October, where NAPT members will vote for and announce the national winner.