Posted Date: 08/27/2019
On the 1st day of school, August 8, 2019, Mr. Glenn’s school bus had stopped on the side of Highway 70. He had his stop sign engaged and red lights flashing. A woman in her Ford Fusion car struck the stopped SUV in front of her. The sheriff deputy was there to see the crash, thankfully no one was badly injured at the scene. The female that didn’t stop was an 18 year old on her phone and driving to work when the accident happened. Her license maybe suspended for six months and she could be fined between $100-$500.
According to Officer Taylor, our School Resource Officer, you must stop for a school bus if it is flashing red lights and/or showing a red “STOP” sign. Even on a highway that has 4 lanes of traffic, unless there are cable barriers or concrete dividers in which the opposite direction doesn’t have to stop. According to an article in The Oklahoman, “A law went into effect in November 2011 allowing for the suspension of driver’s licenses for failure to stop for a school bus that is loading or unloading children,”. (https://oklahoman.com/article/3943689/oklahoma-city-drivers-need-to-watch-for-bus-penalties). Most traffic violations are infractions, however, passing a stopped school bus is a class 1 misdemeanor. For more information, see Oklahoma state law title 4711705A. “Between 2007 and 2016 there have been 1,282 people killed in school transportation-related crashes,” according to crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov. Therefore, always stop for school buses, so nobody gets hurt.
It may not be important to you, but it is important to others that you stay off your phone while driving. It is a safe and smart way to be less distracted and more focused on the road. Phone calls, messages, and notifications can wait until you reach your destination. You can always pull over if it is an emergency. Please be considerate and aware of the world beyond your phone screen. Life on the outside is definitely more important than an Instagram notification.
Contributing authors: Elisha Phan, Raegan Reid, Malorie Clark, Ty Cirkles, Molly Shires, & William Griffith