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Bus Drivers Observing Multiple Traffic Violations

August 25, 2014, 5:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Bus Drivers Observing Multiple Traffic Violations

More South Dakota schools are starting this week and bus drivers are urging everyone to be careful.

Just days into the school year, drivers of Dietrich Bus Service in Aberdeen say they've noticed multiple traffic violations.

"Just be aware that school is back in session. We need to watch for the little guys," bus driver James Brandenburger said.

Brandenburger says three motorists ignored the stop sign on the side of his bus within the first few days of school and drove right past him. Other drivers with Dietrich Bus Service have also seen violations.

Brandenburger and other drivers, including Marvin Dreesen, say the number of violations they see might increase this time of year as school starts and people get used to buses back out on the street. They also say violations will increase during weather events.

Steve Bistodeau manages Dietrich in Aberdeen and says violations occur throughout the school year. Whether they're prevalent or not, he says, all it takes is one time.

"If you hurt or kill a child passing a bus, I mean there's no return. I mean it's done. I mean you can't bring back a life once it's gone. We don't want to harm children. That's our main concern; that kids get to school and home as safe as possible," Bistodeau said.

Bistodeau says drivers generally pick up students on the right side, so they don't have to cross the street to load the bus. Still, there could be excited kids who run out into the street for one reason or another.

Bus drivers we spoke with say they've noticed distracted drivers and others who just seem to be in a hurry.

"Just slow down.  Take your time; there's always tomorrow," Dreesen said.

Bistodeau also says people sometimes try to hurry through the flashing yellow lights on a bus before they turn red. You need to do the exact opposite, he says. Slow down and use extreme caution, knowing kids will be loading or unloading shortly.

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