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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