Enforcing Bus Safety Laws

Another local school bus was involved in an accident Thursday morning. With the school year still new, that brings to three the number of crashes involving school buses in Ohio County alone this fall.

About 10 days ago, a car slammed into the back of a bus on W.Va. 88. Then, this week, it happened again when a vehicle struck the rear of a bus on Stone Church Road in Wheeling. One child had to be taken to the hospital for what appeared to be a minor injury.

In addition, motorists continue to pass stopped school buses in our area. That, too, puts children at risk.

From time to time, law enforcement officers ride the buses, handing out tickets to scofflaws who pass buses stopped to allow students to board or get off them.

What’s wrong with some people? After all, the big, yellow school buses are tough to miss. Yet some people either aren’t paying enough attention to see them – obviously the case when a vehicle slams into the rear of a bus – or just don’t care enough to hit the brakes when they see a stopped bus with children present.

Obviously, fines being levied against those motorists who disobey school bus safety laws are not high enough to provide the necessary deterrent effect. Perhaps state legislators should consider increasing the fines.

In the meantime, local law enforcement officers should pile on the tickets when they cite motorists who put our precious children and grandchildren in danger. If offenders can be charged with multiple offenses instead of single charges, that should be done.

This trend of disregarding safety laws and, apparently, ignoring even the presence of big, yellow school buses has to stop – right now.