School Bus Demo: News 2 Shows Why You Have To Stop At Least 15 Feet Before The Bus

12:04 AM, Jan 10, 2013   |    comments
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Guilford County, NC-- The Guilford County Schools (GCS) transportation director demonstrates where you should stop when you see a stopped school bus, and where it becomes too late to stop.

In the last month, four children have been hit or killed trying to get on a school bus. On Wednesday morning, a car hit six-year-old Benini Secilia as she crossed the street in High Point.

Watch Story here:Child Hit At School Bus Stop In High Point Taken To Hospital For Minor Injuries, Driver Charged

News 2 talked to Jeff Harris, Director of Transportation with Guilford County Schools. Harris demonstrated where a motorist should stop when they see a stopped bus.

Harris thinks the very minimum that a car should stop is 15 feet in front of the school bus. If you wait to stop until you're even with the stop arm, it's too late.

That's because school buses are designed for students to walk well in front of the bus. The yellow walking arm is roughly six feet. It ensures that students don't get too close to the bus where the bus driver can't see them.

In addition bus drivers stop fifteen feet before the stop sign so the students walk on a diagonal. Again that practice ensures that students are well in front and don't walk behind the bus.
That means that motorists need to stop well before the actual stop arm.

Harris told News 2 that people give many excuses for not obeying the stop arm law.

"The sun was in my eyes, I didn't see the school us, I didn't see the lights flashing. Just different, either they were distracted or they just weren't paying attention to what they were doing," said Harris.

Harris told News 2 that NC statistics show that 2300 times in one day, someone passes the stop arm in the state.

In Guilford County, someone violates the stop arm law roughly 100-120 times in one day.

Harris doesn't believe that we need stricter laws. This is an issue about personal responsibility.

"It is one of the highest points that you can receive on your license, it increases your insurance cost, so the sentencing is there, penalties are there. It's just a matter of getting the motorists to pay attention."

WFMY News 2

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