School Safety Zone Violators

by Emily Baird on October 19, 2009 at 4:17 am

Many kids across the area rely on a yellow bus for a ride to school during the week. So what is being done to make sure they get there safely and back home in one piece?

WHIZ’s Emily Baird takes a look at the Zanesville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s week-long effort to increase school zone and bus safety awareness.

It’s something that can happen so easily if you’re not paying attention while driving, or it’s something that happens during your rushed commute to work that you later regret…passing a school bus while driving.

“We’ve had several this year already, and hopefully, this will waken people up a little bit and put an end to some of that, ” says East Muskingum Transportation Supervisor, Robert Newcomer.

The Zanesville Post of the State Highway Patrol will be watching school zones this week to make sure drivers are obeying the traffic laws, and it also put one of its troopers on one of East Muskingum’s 20 bus routes.

“That way he can get a first hand view of what it’s like for the bus driver, ” says Newcomer.

The main thing the Ohio State Highway Patrol looks for is area problems surrounding the bus when it stops and kids get on.

“Violators who failed to stop for a stopped school bus. That’s when the bus is completely stopped. The red lights are flashing with the safety arm that is out, ” says Zanesville Post Commander, Lt. Chad Neal.

“Maybe we’ve got a high incidence of complaints of cars passing school buses. There’s several places on the east pike that we look at, ” says Trooper Mike Forshey.

Forshey says some of those complaints area near the motels on Airport Road and the three lane stretch of US 40 passed the Holiday Inn.

He also says troopers check how close drivers stop to the bus.

The Zanesville Post says schools have been lucky so far when it comes to the kids’ safety.

“We have not had any major incidents that i can recall here recently that involve a traffic crash, involving a school bus where a child or anybody from the motorist were hurt, from the public that were hurt, ” says Neal.

“We haven’t had a kid hit in a long time, and we want to keep it that way, ” says Forshey.

While Forshey says there may be a few violators out and about, most drivers tend to stop when a bus’s red lights flash.

“Overall, everybody does a pretty good job. The community is well aware of the buses, and the entire muskingum county area is pretty safety conscious when it comes to school buses, ” says Forshey.

I’m Emily Baird for WHIZ News.

Forshey says the bus route he road today gets a good report. He says he didn’t encounter any violators.