School buses, cars caught running stop signs in Lovejoy neighborhood

Posted at 7:36 PM, May 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-24 12:49:07-04

UPDATE: First Group, First Student's parent company, reached out to 7 Eyewitness News about action taken against a bus driver after viewing two videos of buses rolling through stop signs on May 23.

"A member of the team was able to extract the video and identify the bus number. The driver will be retrained and reprimanded," said a spokesperson.

7 Eyewitness News will continue to provide updates as they come in.

A neighbor in Lovejoy has seen, heard, and felt cars fly by his home on Brinkman Avenue for years. Now, he's using his security cameras to take matters into his own hands.

On the corner of Rohe Street and Brinkman Avenue, there's a four-way intersection with a Buffalo Police security camera. On three houses to one side, however, are several others, all owned by Greg Gauthier.

He has a binder of over 120 complaints to the City of Buffalo with documented evidence of cars and buses rolling and even speeding through the stop signs. He marks that binder "February 2018".

Gauthier and Pastor Al Robinson have teamed up to bring the issue to light. The two are worried about both traffic and pedestrians, and as the weather warms up they say children will once again take to the streets for play.

"People just need to stop," Robinson said about the intersection. "It's just that simple. You see a stop sign, it doesn't mean roll through the stop sign, it means the wheels must stop turning entirely."

The issue isn't limited to cars. Both Gauthier and Robinson have seen and recorded school buses, many of them First Student buses, rolling through the signs or ignoring them entirely.

Gauthier says he called First Student safety managers in February with his concerns. First Student's parent company First Group told 7 Eyewitness News it learned about the issue on the week of May 14. In response, First Group posted supervisors at the corner "in the morning and the evening" to monitor buses. In a week, only one bus driver received a written warning and was re-trained.

On the morning of May 23, the day 7 Eyewitness News called First Group for comment, two buses rolled through the stop sign within 10 minutes of each other, at 7:09 a.m. and 7:16 a.m., according to Gauthier's security cameras. No First Student cars or pedestrians were in the video frames.

Lovejoy district council member Richard Fontana says in reaction to complaints, Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood has decided to "put more officers into traffic" on the street. This means more officers would be able to patrol intersections like Rohe and Brinkman.