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HPS stresses importance of bus safety

Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 9:30 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 13, 2021 at 9:31 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Hastings Public Schools planned to return the week of Aug. 15, which meant there would be more kids out and about and getting on and off of buses. Steve Kathman, a longtime bus driver for Hastings Public School Transportation and Maintenance, said there had been a continuous problem with people driving around buses when it wasn’t lawful.

“It’s not safe when the red stop arm is out and the red flashing [lights],” He said. “When it’s ‘cautious’ the yellow lights will be flashing, [there] will be no stop arm out.”

Kathman said there were one to two instances per day when cars passed the bus he was driving when it wasn’t permitted. He added, although he hadn’t had any close calls with kids getting injured by cars unlawfully passing buses through the years, he still stressed the importance to being on the lookout while driving behind a stopped bus. He said kids may not be paying as close of attention to their surroundings as people may think.

“They need to be paying attention to it because these kids that we’re hauling are mostly, kids that don’t really, some don’t really know what’s going on. Just for their safety,” He said

Kathman recommended to only pass a school bus when there were no flashing lights on at all.

Corey Brakham, who had been riding the school bus for a number of years said he’s seen people speed around buses with the stop arm down countless times right in front of his home. He said he was concerned for his safety as well as others’.

“I see them coming out of my corner ... behind the bus and going ... fast and they think the stop signs, like, a decoration and its not,” Brakham said “You’ve got to stop.”

He continued to say he would see around five cars per day going over the speed limit while passing a stopped bus and that the situation seemed to be getting worse throughout the years.

When the yellow lights are flashing and the stop arm is not out, you are able to pass the bus with caution.

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