Filed under: bus, machines, school, School bus | Tags: flashing lights, school bus, stop arm, video, video camera
School has started and drivers need to be aware of the flashing lights on school buses that tell you a bus is coming to a halt. That means noticing the flashing yellow ones that come before the flashing red ones. Flashing yellow means start slowing down so you can stop when the red starts!
I’m constantly amazed at how many people do not see that big yellow bus with its flashing lights and go flying through a student loading zone. A bus driver can turn in someone who runs their stop arm, but unless we get the full license plate it does not even pay to do the paper work. Our bus company has come through with help.
There are now video cameras inside and outside of our school buses to record what is happening in and around a school bus. If someone runs our stop arm, we now have video evidence of the infraction. The police will be calling you if you run our bus stop arms now and they will have video evidence to prove your actions.
Oh yes, there are cameras inside also. If we have student behavior problems we have those recoded also. Actually, I hope to never use that video, but it does do a good job of enforcing behavior. I just ask the student what their parents will see when we show it to them. In most cases that’s all I need to do.
So watch out for those flashing lights when you approach a school bus. In my district you will be on camera and we will get you if you run that stop arm.
The area along the Des Moines river on County 14 is an area I know well. It is an area teeming in wildlife. Deer, pheasant, turkey, fox and coyote have all been seen as my bus rolls down that streach of county gravel. I saw my first wild turkey there. I hit my first deer on that streach of gravel. Tuesday, the encounter was a bit closer than I wanted. My bus windshield took a direct hit by a wild turkey.
There were still 6 students on the bus when the turkeys flew in front of the bus. The students of course, were excited. Me? I’d just about had a turkey come through the front window into my lap, I was a bit unnerved.
My lap was full of glass, and there was no way I could continue taking the kids home. We had a big problem!
Lucky for us we were only half a mile from where our bus company manager lived. I got to his place and the students and I were picked up by a bus from another route. Everyone was safe, I only had one minor cut, the turkey could not be found.
This morning the students who had been on the bus were celebrities. They were showing the pictures on their iPads and recounting the whole experience. I’m just glad no one was hurt except the turkey.