Too important for bus safety
December 18, 2009 · Updated 12:13 PM
Here in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, we enjoy the distinction of being the largest city on the Island. In this city, we also have a large population of “important people.” In my daily driving of a school bus, I meet many of these important people.
I believe the biggest fear these important people have is that they have to wait on a school bus. I watch people run stop signs and red lights to ensure that they can make the turn to get in front of my bus. They dread that they could end up behind a school bus, and at the mercy of other important people.
If behind my bus, they now have to slow down at intersections, more than normal due to the previously mentioned important people, whose time is too important to stop. They also have to contend with the other important people who do not slow down and stop for the school bus that is coming to a stop, or stopped, to load or unload students. These people feel that their time is more important than that of the 40 to 80 students riding the bus or the regular people stuck behind the bus. So if the bus is slowing or stopped for students with only the yellow lights flashing, these “important people” continue on their merry way.
When you are approaching a school bus preparing to stop, think of how important your time is. You only have to stop for normally less than one minute at this stop. In contrast, all the drivers behind the bus have to wait on you and all the other important people plus the less than a minute to load or unload the students at each stop while they are behind the bus. We do also have a good average of everyday people who show courtesy on the road. I am sure a few of them are behind me each and every day and would thank you for the thought.
Warren L. Hagsten
School bus driver