To the editor,
School? Safety? Kids? Busing? All these tie in together, and we should be aware and on our toes when driving.
I am a school bus driver for Durham School Services in Lansing. This is my fourth year driving, second year in Lansing. Every day I see people who think they are in a big hurry. My route includes Eisenhower Road and South Main in Lansing. I write anywhere from two to four "stop arm" violations in a week. I have people pass me and not even apply their brake. It is so dangerous. Our main concern should be the safety of the kids.
I called the Lansing Police and was told violators only get a warning. I don't think that is right. On the back of the bus it is written, "If you pass a stopped school bus with the stop arm out and red lights flashing" you will be fined $100. We have to enforce this.
I am taking the time to find paper and pen to write down the license plate number, make, model and year of vehicle plus put my emergency brake on, activate my lights, put the bus in neutral, watch the kids on the bus and the ones loading, and open my door.
The police say I need a witness. I asked if a police officer could sit at the corner of West Lois and Main Street and be my witness; he said they don't have enough officers. And the ones that are on duty are patrolling the school zones. Also, he said that this particular violation falls under the state, so when a ticket is issued, the state gets most of the money. Well, I know that speeding a dangerous, but so is someone running a stop sign and killing a child.
The one thing that amazes me is when someone runs my stop arm, eight out of 10 times they have to stop at the light at Mary Street anyway. I guess I would like to see the officers enforce the stop arm law of a school bus instead of being so worried about someone's taillight being burnt out. The law was broke in Lansing - take care of it.