In light of several recent collisions across the United States involving children at school bus stops, the Sierra Vista Police Department and the Sierra Vista Unified School District #68 would like to remind motorists to slow down and drive with additional care near school zones and school bus stops.
On Thursday, Nov. 1, two children were struck near a school bus stop in Kentucky, which marked the sixth time in three days that children were injured or killed at a school bus stop. The other incidents occurred in Florida, Mississippi, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2016 alone there were 5,987 pedestrian traffic fatalities and 245 of the victims were children 14 years old or younger.
“We urge motorists to drive with care and to stay alert for pedestrians and children who may enter the roadway unexpectedly, especially near school bus stops and in school zones,” SVPD Public Information Officer Cpl. Tim Wachtel says. “We’ve received reports of numerous infractions locally and don’t want to see tragedy strike here in Sierra Vista due to a careless or aggressive driver.”
The Sierra Vista Unified School District has reported the following recently observed infractions: drivers cutting in front of buses to avoid waiting during their frequent stops, drivers not stopping for the extended stop sign on the bus as kids are loading and unloading (this is observed daily), drivers speeding in school zones, and drivers passing other vehicles in school zones.
Arizona Revised Statutes 28-857A states, “On meeting or overtaking from either direction a school bus that has stopped on the highway, the driver of a vehicle on the highway shall: 1) Stop the vehicle before reaching the school bus, if the school bus is displaying the stop signal and 2) Not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the signal and alternately flashing lights are no longer displayed.”
The Sierra Vista Unified School District would also like to remind all drivers to report when they observe a school bus with a brake light out or any operational issue. Drivers can do this by noting the school bus number and calling the phone number listed on the back of the bus.
Anyone with questions is asked to contact SVPD Public Information Office Cpl. Tim Wachtel at (520) 452-7500 or SVUSD Public Information Officer Eva Dickerson at (520) 515-2723.