TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) - Six accidents at school bus stops this week, which left five people dead, have shined a spotlight on distracted driving and bus stop safety. Getting to and from the bus might be more dangerous than the ride to school, CNN reports.
At Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District, all students from kindergarten through 4th grade are taught school bus safety procedures every year. The district says it does not come across drivers passing stopped buses often.
"We haven't had a real issue with it where it's been a huge safety concern," transportation supervisor Jim Nestico said.
Sometimes, drivers will attempt to pass school buses slowing down for pickups despite the flashing yellow lights.
"[They] try to scoot around us because they don't want to stop and get stuck behind us," Denise Lorenz Giordano explained. She's been a driver in the district for 19 years and now trains new drivers and helps oversee the safety program. "Nobody likes getting stuck behind a school bus. I get it. But, there's little lives out there."
Town of Tonawanda Police work closely with Ken-Ton UFSD to monitor bus routes and school buildings to be sure drivers are following all the rules around school buses.
"We all have to work together on this," Lt. Thomas Haynes said. "Parents should be talking to their children. Looking for directions from the school bus driver before running out in to the street or approaching the school bus."
Haynes recommends drivers, as always, take extra care around school buses.
Parents and kids are advised to wait for the bus far away from the road or the curb. Students should not approach the school bus until it is completely stopped and the driver tells them it is safe to do so. Students are also told to watch bus drivers to signal when it is safe to cross the road.
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