Driving Dumb

One of the biggest examples of what I refer to as "driving dumb" involves motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses.


These drivers are either ignorant, severely distracted, or simply don't care if their actions are putting others, even children, in danger.

But, it sounds like citizen complaints about this reckless behavior in North Dakota are generating action
North Dakota Highway Patrol plans to put a trooper on a bus in southwest North Dakota to observe drivers. A trooper will ride on a regular bus route on May 15 to observe drivers.

If the trooper sees a violation, he will radio information to another trooper in a squad car, who will initiate a traffic stop.

The trooper on a bus program is an effort to enhance enforcement of traffic laws and increase public awareness of the dangers created by drivers who fail to stop for school buses when children are loading or unloading.

Failing to stop as required for a school bus is punishable by a $100 fine and six points to the violator’s driving record…
Last week, I was approaching a stopped school bus on a two-lane road. The yellow bus had lights flashing and a stop-sign clearly displayed, when a four-door vehicle whipped past the bus on the other side and kept going.

No braking. No slowing at all.

The driver, an elderly man, seemed oblivious to the danger--that his actions could have resulted in injuring one of the elementary-aged kids that was being dropped off from school.

I can certainly see why troopers in North Dakota are riding buses to try and combat this problem.

Lives can be changed forever.

As it was yesterday in Gaffney, South Carolina when driver Leslie Littlejohn's vehicle struck student Chassie Alford as she boarded a school bus.

Littlejohn, who did not have a valid driver's license,  was arrested and claimed she did not see the bus' warning lights or sign (investigators determined that the bus equipment was operating properly).

Sadly, the student was seriously injured and is currently in an intensive care unit.

My prayers are with her.
_______________________________

I hope you have a good weekend and avoid all those who are "driving dumb" out there.

22 comments:

Lady Lilith said...

I hope the student has a speedy recovery.

ladyfi said...

People drive like crazy around schools - so stupid!

ladyfi said...

People drive like crazy around schools - so stupid!

Bijoux said...

People pleading ignorance to not seeing the flashing lights should have their license taken away for good. Unfortunately, many of the worst drivers do not even have valid licenses.

messymimi said...

That child will be in my prayers.

Several years ago, when i was in the ER with pneumonia, they brought in a 16-year-old student. She was in honors classes, on the track team, and an all around wonderful young lady. She'd been struck by a lawyer who thought the law shouldn't apply to him when he needed to get to court faster. Compound/complex fracture of her right femur. She fully recovered, but it was so unneeded.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

This makes me so upset!

Diane Estrella said...

It seems the law with passing a school bus and pulling over when an ambulance goes by are both forgotten. I am always appalled when I see this.

Stephanie Faris said...

At a certain age, people should be retested occasionally to ensure they're okay to drive. Sad, but it would save lives. I do question, however, that we're forced to stop for school buses, but when I worked in the city nobody ever stopped for city buses. I always slowed down when I saw one stopped next to me with people exiting. You never knew when someone might dart across the street. I know adult lives aren't as precious as children's, but in the city, some children ride the city bus to get to school...

lisa said...

That is a scary situation. And all the bus driver can do it watch! People need to be aware that there will ALWAYS be children where there are school busses. And those children don't always look before running out the door of the bus! My prayers are with the student for a full recovery as well.

Pat Hatt said...

Did not see the signs? So the big yellow thing wasn't an indication to look? Some people should never be on the roads.

debi o'neille said...

I knew a child who was killed during a situation like this many years ago, so to me a one-hundred dollar fine is not nearly enough. But that's me. :-)
Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

Momma Fargo said...

Grrr. I do not like that either. One of my pet peeves when I was a copper. Lots o tickets. Most of them played stupid, but not one of them fought it in court.

Secret Agent Woman said...

It makes me crazy to see people passing stopped school buses. I'd love to see them crack down on that.

Mary Kirkland said...

It's like someone people either don't care or just don't know the laws. But if they see the big stop sign coming out on the side of the school bus and flashing lights you would think they would stop. I've seen people speed up just to get passed the bus.

Hilary said...

I hope that child recovers fully and quickly.

North Dakota isn't nearly tough enough on drivers if the fine is only $100. Here in the province of Ontario, consequences are as follows:

First offence: $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points
Each subsequent offence: $1,000 to $4,000, six demerit points and possible jail time up to six months.

Brian Miller said...

ugh. it is scary that people blow by buses like that...one of the other traffic guys at school got hit last week...a woman on her cell phone..."never saw his hand up(to stop)"...its ridiculous...

A Cuban In London said...

Like you said, it's recklessness. I wis h traffic law enforcement around schools in the UK was stricter. I work at a school and I can tell you that the scenario you just described is the same here, minus the school bus.

Greetings from London.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Or who are on autopilot when driving through a school zone.

Terry Dane said...

That little girl is my daughter & our family greatly appreciate all prayers. Thank you all. But she was getting on the bus NOT exiting. Thankyou to ALL that was there to help. We love you Chazz ! God has his hands on you & has a plan :-)

Slamdunk said...

@ Terry: Thank you for commenting and describing the error in my post. I have corrected it.

I can't imagine what you all are going through. I am continuing to pray.

Terry Dane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terry Dane said...

It happened in Gaffney N.Carolina. As Leslie is given a bond amount to get out of jail, there's NO amount of $ that releases my daughter from ALL her pain ,suffering & ALL that she has & will have to go through & suffer with for the rest of her life. My daughter Chassie is & will always be left in her own prison due to Leslie Littlejohn. Let's NOT forget what Leslie did to her own daughter, all the children & everyone else that was tramatized by Leslies actions. All those that were effected my prayers go out to them as well.