“You can ignore the stop signs that have a white border. They’re optional,” they argued.
She was convinced. And she rolled right through that intersection.
Her brothers were shocked. They didn’t think she’d believe them. But they were the experienced drivers and she was just getting started. So she fell for their joke.
In the end, it was just a silly prank that older brothers were playing on their younger sister. And no one got hurt. So, in the end, I guess you could say it was harmless. No blood, no foul. But my friend learned a valuable lesson that evening.
Stop signs are not optional.
Even if they have a white border.
That includes the stop signs on school buses. I know. I shouldn’t have to say that. But I feel like it’s necessary. Because I think there are people who think those signs are optional. Or just a suggestion. Never mind the flashing red lights on the bus. Never mind the flashing red lights on the stop sign itself. I see people run the stop sign on a pretty regular basis.
By the end of the school year last year, an average of at least one car a week just drove right on by as I was putting Mihret on her bus. It got pretty frustrating. Because it’s an unsafe practice.
And it’s illlegal. Here’s an excerpt from the Indiana Driver’s Manual:
You must stop when you approach a school bus with fl ashing red lights activated and stop arm extended…Disregarding a school bus stop arm can be considerred [sic] reckless driving, a Class B Misdemeanor, and is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a maximum fi ne of $1,000.
Indiana Driver’s Manual, page 75 (emphasis mine)
The punishment for injuring someone while disregarding a school bus stop? It’s even more severe.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t see anyone crossing the street. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s all clear. It really doesn’t matter what you think or what you see. Because you can’t pass a bus that has its stop sign extended and its red lights flashing.
I know its an inconvenience. I know it can be frustrating sometimes. But that doesn’t give you any right to ignore the lights. Or the stop sign.
Or the law.
Mihret has been in school for a little more than a week. And someone has already ignored the flashing lights and stop sign on her bus. It’s already old. We’re not going to have another school year where someone ignores the stop signs at least once a week. We just aren’t. It’s ridiculous. And irresponsible.
I guess I could just stand in the street until the bus is ready to leave. Or maybe I’ll install a security camera. Or simply stand there with my phone. I really shouldn’t have to call the cops because this is such a simple thing to correct. Besides, they can’t be there every single day. So I’m going to be more vigilant.
And I hope you are, too.
Let’s keep the streets safe for our children. Please stop running bus stop signs.
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