GODDARD, Kan. (KSNW) – School buses take millions of children across the country to class, but, they also send thousands to emergency rooms each year.
Now, local law enforcement is cracking down to keep them safe.
One bus driver with the Goddard Public Schools has five routes a week, two routes every day.
He’s seen the good, the bad and the ugly.
“Make sure Lincoln holds your hand,” said Tim Dougherty, a USD 265 bus driver to one of the students on his route Monday afternoon.
He has been a school bus driver in Goddard for seven years now.
“They’re my kids,” said Dougherty. “I recognize faces. We memorize names.”
Even though safety is his priority, sometimes it’s the other drivers he says he has to worry about.
“I’ve had them run my stop signs before,” said Dougherty. “And, I’ve laid down my horn, and they just act like they don’t even see you.”
Parents in the district have noticed it too.
“If a bus stops on the right hand side of the road, if they’re on the left hand side, they might just keep going,” said Megan Decker, a parent.
“People are always cruising down faster than I wish they would,” said Lauren Derby, a parent.
KSN’s Tiffany Lane rode along Monday with some Apollo Elementary students.
They say they watch out for other drivers, because even the kids know, one inattentive person behind the wheel can change lives.
“They might hit us with a car on accident,” said Blaise Nguyen, a third grader.
“If a driver hits a kid crossing the street, they could hurt the kid or themself,” said Aubrey Dugan, a fourth grader.
“It takes literally takes a few seconds for you to stop, let the kid get off the bus and cross the street,” said Andrea Walters, a parent.
The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office has teamed up with all the public school districts in the county, except for USD 259, where bus drivers contact them if they see any violations.
Officials say they received 28 in August and 53 in September.