Dale Co. Bus Drivers Afraid of Fatality

By: Vanessa Araiza Email
By: Vanessa Araiza Email

"It could have took one more second for her to be a little bit more around that bus and she could have been killed," said Valerie St. Cin with Dale County schools.

For the past 5 years St. Cin has been driving school buses in Dale County.

It's not until this past year she's seen a distinctly dangerous rise in careless drivers.

And she's not the only driver with concerns.

"They're on a cell phone, they're in a hurry and it only takes 15-30 seconds to load or unload at a stop normally and I just can't see why you would jeopardize your future and the child's future their parents and the bus driver because everyone would be affected if they hit a child," said Cindie Hagler, a Dale County bus driver for more than 20 years.

Hagler and 4 other bus drivers voiced their concerns to one another in a meeting with the school's superintendent, searching for ways to reduce the dangers.

They all say this year is like no other and it's not your stereotypical driver that's ignoring the law.

"As a general rule we're seeing seasoned drivers, adults that are violating the rules, they're running our stop signs and putting our children in danger," said Greg Jaeb with Dale County schools.

Jaeb has been picking up and taking kids home for six years.

He says all too often, drivers trying to shave a few seconds off their drive time forget about how severe the consequences can be.

"It's not worth saving 30 seconds if you take the life of a child," said Jaeb.

Because of the increased dangers more Dale County deputies are being put on the roadways.

More deputies are following the buses in the daytime to head off anyone who may be in a hurry.

One thing to remember when you are driving behind a school bus as soon as that red stop sign pops out you are supposed to stop where you're at.

If you are caught passing, school bus penalties can be fines anywhere from 150 to 3-thousand dollars.

You can receive a class C felony or lose your license for up to a year.

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  • by Randy Location: Houston County on Nov 18, 2010 at 01:30 PM
    I too have seen buses that seem to hesitate about exactly when & if they are going to show their stop lights. Also have met a stopped bus on the wrong side of a blind curve before with no warning. A related issue that should be addressed also is having all children waiting for the bus before it arrives & have them get on & off in a fast & safe manner. So that the bus & the rest of us are not waiting on them more that necessery.
  • by concerned Location: Enterprise on Nov 17, 2010 at 08:47 PM
    I would never try to pass a school bus when they are loading or unloading the children. There have been times when I have seen a bus coming and I was not sure exactly when or where they would put out their stop flag. I slow down waiting to stop, and then have the bus put that flag out just as I start to go by. It is very frustrating and nerve racking for me. Also, most of the buses I see around here seem to think it is OK to drive just as fast and as careless as they want. Now that can get a child killed also.
  • by tnt Location: covington county on Nov 17, 2010 at 06:21 PM
    i drive a school bus in the opp area and someone runs my stop sign weekly sometimes 2 cars in a row..people dont care...they just want to save time..is it worth a childs life??? i guess it is to them its sad but a fact of life...you can turn them in if you get a tag number but how do you do that when theyre coming at you,,,you cant see it i dont know the answer but something has to be done
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