Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

October 25, 2012

Trooper rides on school bus to promote safety

PRINCETON — Children climb off the school bus and wait until driver Mary Taylor gives them the thumbs up signal, telling them it’s okay to cross the road. Taylor, other school bus drivers and the West Virginia State Police are asking other motorists to use just as much caution when students are getting on and off school buses.

This week is National School Bus Safety Week, so state troopers have been riding aboard school buses — and following them — to help catch drivers who ignore stop signs that the buses deploy when students are getting off or climbing aboard.

Trooper J.L. Morris of the state police detachment near Princeton rode Taylor’s school bus Wednesday while Trooper S.R. Moore followed in a police cruiser. If anybody drove through the bus’s stop sign, Morris was ready to relay the information to Moore.

School bus drivers  flash yellow warning lights before stopping and swinging out their stop signs. Motorists must stop until the lights cease flashing and the sign is pulled back, Morris said.

“It’s a good practice to stay stopped until you see the bus start moving,” Morris advised. “Because the bus won’t start moving until the bus driver sees that all of the students are out of the way.”

Taylor took her vehicle out of the parking lot and headed for Courthouse Road. The first stop was Glenwood School. Seeing a driver go through the stop sign is an almost daily occurrence.

“I’m glad you’re doing this today,” she told the trooper sitting behind her. “With our luck, we won’t see one today, but we sometimes get five or six a week.”

During one recent incident, a man talking on a cell phone pulled his pick-up truck — which was hauling a trailer — toward the bus while children were getting off. Taylor honked her horn to get his attention. Startled, he shrugged and moved on.

Counting the daily runs to Glenwood and transporting Princeton Senior High School students, Taylor estimated that she drives 189 students to and from school every day.

Parents waiting at Glenwood School said they have seen drivers trying to beat school bus stop signs.

“The lights will come on and people will be trying beat the stop sign,” said Terri Ellison, 30, of Princeton. “I’m just scared that some kids had to walk across the street.”

While stopping to drop off a little girl on Route 20, a car stopped suddenly just short of the sign.

“See? If she hadn’t seen him (trooper), she would have gone on,” Taylor said.

Bus driver Darrell Cook said Mercer County started a “thumbs up” program two years ago. Children waiting to cross a road are told to wait until the bus driver gives them the thumbs up signal to go ahead.

“It’s been a pretty good program,” he said.

Unfortunately, children do not always remember to follow this rule, and there is only so much a bus driver can do to keep them safe, Taylor added.

“It’s an awful feeling,” she said after some children safely crossed the road. “When I’m up here, I’m helpless as to what I can do. The drivers in Mercer County do their part to keep the kids safe. I’d like to encourage the public to do the same.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Blue Jays Sunday Danville nips Bluefield in 12 innings

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Practice scenario nearly identical to real-life tunnel fire

    July 27, 2014

  • Crash... Two transported from Route 460 wreck

    Two people were transported to a Mercer County hospital following a two-vehicle wreck Sunday afternoon on U.S. Route 460 at the intersection with Willowbrook Road.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • PRINCETON POLICE DEPARTMENT July 17-23

    July 27, 2014

  • Active warrants in Tazewell County July 27 Active warrants in Tazewell County July 27

    The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office is currently seeking the following individuals. Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of these individuals can call the sheriff’s office at 276-988-1167 or the Tazewell County 911 Center at  276-988-0902.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_4822.jpg All tunnel lanes open

    Traffic on Interstate 77 was still backed up about 14 miles in Bland County, Va., Saturday evening, but the Virginia Department of Transportation reported at about 6 p.m. that both northbound lanes of I-77 through East River Mountain were open to traffic.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo 2 Slideshows

  • First on scene... Firefighters’ story: Working together put the fire out

    Lights in the southern end of the tunnel illuminate an odd design beside the catwalk near the left lane of the northbound tube of the East River Mountain Tunnel that transports I-77 from Virginia into West Virginia. Two firefighters who made the initial assault through the total darkness of the soot and smoke-filled tunnel left those marks as they slid their arms along the catwalk wall on their journey back to the light.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Magnificent collection... A collection worth a billion words

    From the time that Carl Boyd arrived on the Bluefield State College campus in 1953, Boyd, a Bluefield, Va., native, graduate of Tazewell County High School and proud 1957 BSC graduate, was collecting photos, information and artifacts of significance to BSC’s history.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fans flock to Saints training camp for smiles, autographs

    Lois and Jeff Price have something else to brag about.

    July 27, 2014

  • Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers

    When Peter, Paul and Mary sang the popular Pete Seeger song, “If I had a hammer,” John White of the Tazewell County Habitat for Humanity program would know how to put that hammer to good use to help the organization in its efforts to bring affordable housing to local families.

    July 27, 2014

National and World
Newspaper Deivery Routes Available
Sister Newspapers' News
Facebook
Local News Videos