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School Bus Safety Week asks drivers to help protect kids

By Emily Valla
Published On: Oct 22 2013 07:40:49 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 23 2013 11:00:53 AM CDT

School Bus Safety Week asks drivers to help keep kids safe

BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho -

More than 70 schools buses are on the road in Bonneville School District 93 alone.

This week is National School Bus Safety Week, and the district wants drivers to help keep kids safe.

Every morning at 7 a.m., Peter Klepich's daughters wait for the school bus.

"I'll have them stand back from the road about 100 feet, maybe a little more. There's been a problem before with vehicles almost rear ending the bus and ending up in our driveway," said Klepich.

He and his family live on a rural highway, and at the hour the bus comes, it is nearly pitch black.

His daughters are two of about 5,000 students who take the bus daily in Bonneville School District.

"We have school buses stopping house to house on the country roads and on the highways, and it can surprise some people, but we try to activate our flashing lights well ahead of time," said school bus driver Tim Richardson.

It's the law to stop at those flashing lights on two or three lane roads. For four or more lanes, the lanes traveling the opposite direction don't have to stop.

"We have several cameras on a bus, when the stop arm is activated, the camera turns on. If someone decides to pass on the red stop arm, they will beĀ filmed. A picture will be taken of their face and their car and their license plate, and many time officers surprise them at their door with a ticket," said Chuck Shackett, superintendent of District 93.

The citation could be a misdemeanor, but that is a small consequence.

"Bus safety is very dear to my wife and I. One of our kids was killed during a stop-arm violation. A vehicle failed to stop for the school bus lights and killed one of our children in our front yard. The two-year anniversary is coming up on that," said Daniel Sperry, a deputy sheriff and student resource officer in Bonneville County.

According to the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office, there were five stop-arm citations in 2012 and 13 in 2011. However, many more than that had to be thrown out because of time limits to issue tickets.

The bus and district representatives will be set up at the Ammon Walmart from 4 to 6 pm Tuesday-Thursday.

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