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October 31, 2018 · OPINION

Stop those who endanger school bus riders

By David Jeck
Fauquier School Superintendent

You may have read or heard about the incident in northern Indiana, where three children were killed by the driver who drove past a stopped bus, with lights flashing and the stop sign extended.

I could not believe what I read, and cannot imagine the suffering the families must be experiencing. It is just unbelievable.

We are fortunate in Fauquier County to have so many citizens who care deeply about the safety of our kids, including those who travel our roads in the mornings and in the afternoons. We are very appreciative of the caution that is demonstrated daily; however, this year, and for reasons not known to us, bus drivers are reporting an alarming uptick in the number of vehicles that are driving past stopped buses with flashing lights, and extended stop signs.

I’ve seen the pictures and videos captured by our stop arm cameras, and they are, frankly, stomach turning. Fortunately, we have drivers who are vigilant in reporting offenders, and a sheriff’s office and town police department that have worked in partnership with us to ticket offenders.

I want to send a special “thank you” to state Sen. Jill Vogel (R-Upperville)and Del. Mike Webert (R-Marshall) for working aggressively to introduce legislation that will make it easier to prosecute offenders and provide stiffer penalties. I sent letters to many state-level politicians asking for assistance, and both Sen. Vogel and Del. Webert took action immediately. I also want to thank the Warrenton Town Council and Mayor Carter Nevill for sending a letter, signed by all members, asking for assistance at the state level. Lastly, many thanks to the Fauquier County School Board and Fauquier County Board of Supervisors for supporting efforts to bring greater attention and action to this issue. These are great examples of individuals working together to solve a very serious problem.

Finally, and the primary purpose of this correspondence: Please help us. Report offenders to the Fauquier County Public School’s Transportation Department at 540-422-7240 or to the Fauquier County Sherriff’s Office at 540-422-8600. Also, please continue to use caution when traveling the roads with our buses. No one gets behind the wheel intending to harm a child, but tragedies like the one that just occurred in Indiana can happen in an instant.

We very much appreciate your help.
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ConcernedMom · November 14, 2018 at 9:44 pm
We need DOT to start patrolling 17, 28 and some of the back roads. I have seen rigs on the road less than 2 seconds apart from the busses. Sadly, it takes a lot for them to slow down and even more if they're loaded. People need to also understand that sometimes kids take a few minutes to get on the bus and not beep their horn and other rude things. Just slow down, take a breath. Bus drivers are doing their best to get these kids to and from home safely.
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