ARKANSAS CITY, Kansas – A dangerous bus stop led one Kansas parent to local officials, pleading for help.
“The other day an 18 wheeler was coming down the road and the school bus driver saw that he was not going to stop so she laid on the horn and stayed on the horn,” said David Daniels, father of three.
KSN’s special investigation into school bus safety in Wichita prompted Daniels to share the problem happening at the end of his driveway in Cowley County. He says it happens almost every other day, drivers in a hurry passing the stopped school bus as his three little boys get on or off.
“It just scares me to death,” he said.
Their house is situated on highway 166 where the speed limit is 65 miles per hour.
“These big vehicles are traveling 65, even 70 at times and it takes a lot more for them to get slowed down,” said Sgt. Chad Monroe with the Cowley County Sheriff’s Office.
Daniels says semis are common offenders, passing the bus rather than stopping.
“I’ve gotten so mad I want to throw rocks, but I know better,” he said.
Instead the single dead reached out to the school district and the Sheriff’s office. He says the bus depot spoke with a nearby wind farm that seemed to account for much of the heavy-duty traffic, and management responded.
“They had a meeting with all the truck drivers to let them know that they would be fired immediately if they were caught passing a stopped school bus,” Daniels said.
The Cowley County Sheriff’s Office also stepped in.
“We’ve been out here the last couple of weeks, as much as we can, first thing in the morning,” Monroe said.
The fine for passing a school bus stop sign in Cowley County is $315, but seeing a sheriff’s vehicle seems to be getting drivers’ attention.
“Hopefully it’s helping,” Monroe said. “People are seeing us out and if the word travels and it takes care of it that way, it’s still good.”
Daniels is thankful for their help and says he’s already noticed a difference.
That being said he’ll still be with his boys at the bus every morning and every afternoon.
The Arkansas City school district participated in the national stop arm survey on April 23rd of this year.
During that day alone, there were 30 violations reported. That means there are violations nearly 9% of the time kids are on school buses.