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Police Warn Drivers to Stop for School Buses But Also Say Accide - KOAM TV 7

Police Warn Drivers to Stop for School Buses But Also Say Accidents are Caused When Some Should Keep Going

Updated:
Joplin, MO -

 Joplin police warn drivers to be on the lookout for school buses now that school is back in session.

       It's not just important to know when drivers are supposed to stop for buses. There are times when drivers are supposed to keep going and police want to clear up confusion.

A bus arrives to drop off kids at the Tanglewood apartment complex and stops on 32nd street. Something that concerns their parents.

Eric Flake says,  "There’s just no time to stop. If there's a car that didn’t stop behind the bus, easy pile up."

 A driver seemed anxious behind the stop arm but didn't  go around. That’s an exception according to parents.

Michael Shockley says "There’s the traffic and  they don’t obey the laws at all."

“Those who drive around buses when they're not supposed to will get a citation. About two hundred have been issued in the last five years. "

Joplin school district director of transportation David Pettit says, "We experience that everyday. Our bus drivers, typically when they experience one, we call it a stop arm violation, when they experience that they try to get the license number." It’s then reported to police who will issue a citation.

But getting license numbers is  not always possible while driving and monitoring kids.

Traffic did stop on the other side of 32nd street during the bus stop  but actually isn't supposed to under the law. School buses are not allowed to discharge  students across more than two lanes of active traffic so if the bus is west bound and stops east bound traffic doesn't need to stop.

Sgt. Rusty Rives with Joplin police says,  "If you are stopping in traffic when not required  to then other people around  you are not gonna know that  or not understand why you are stopping. They’re not paying attention for that and that has been known to cause collisions."

Parents  would rather it didn't happen at all on 32nd which is  five lanes. Transportation officials say, "We can’t  pull in a lot of those places (apartment complexes) without having to back up. Our policy with Joplin schools is they cannot back  up a school bus without an adult spotter."

Parents argue another special needs  bus already enters the complex.

Flake says, "There’s definitely a way for them  to  turn around and come back."

The school district says the bus Flake sees has an aid and does back up to get out of the complex. Regular buses do not have aids to act as spotters.

Police hope to educate drivers with a special graphic on facebook explaining when to stop and when not.  So traffic on the busy thoroughfare doesn't come to a dangerous halt with kids on buses caught in the middle.

     The graphic explaining the rule about buses was designed by the Missouri Department of Transportation and is on the Joplin police department facebook page.

Click here for a link.

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