By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
Posted Sept. 21, 2022
That’s how long it takes for a child to board a school bus.
I know because I personally timed it on my stopwatch when I did a ride along with Huron Township police on Monday morning.
Since school started, there have been a rash of drivers passing schools buses that are stopped on area roads.
11 seconds is what these impatient drivers are saving during their commutes, when they pass a bus that’s stopped with red flashing lights.
To these drivers, saving 11 seconds is more important to them than the safety of our children, and local police are doing what they can to crack down on the issue.
On Monday morning, police conducted a bus operation by following all of the bus routes in the township.
My ride along began at about 5:45 a.m. on Monday with a briefing at the police station.
A group of officers gathered to discuss the bus routes and make their plan of action for the morning, and then it was off to patrol the roads.
Not only were there extra patrol units following each bus route in the township, but multiple buses also had an officer on board to relay information to the officers in the police cars.
Once the briefing was finished, I got into an unmarked Huron police SUV with Police Chief Everette Robbins in the driver’s seat.
When we hit the roads, it only took a matter of a few bus stops until I witnessed the first violator drive right past a school bus stopped on Middle Belt Road.
The egregious thing about this driver is that they didn’t even slow down for the bus.
They blew right past the bus going 45 mph. It was shocking and sad to see.
The driver, who was a resident from a local community, blamed their actions on the wet roads when an officer approached their vehicle.
They actually claimed they were scared to stop for the bus.
It was raining on this morning, but that’s no excuse for not stopping.
It makes no sense.
In instances like these, police can write reckless driving tickets due to the manner in which a driver passes the bus.
Fair warning to drivers: if you fly past a bus, you are likely going to get a reckless driving offense in Huron Township.
During the remainder of the morning, police nabbed a second driver for passing another stopped bus.
That’s two drivers on Monday morning who disregarded a bus stop.
Police say that this has happened just about every morning since school has started, and if you read this publication regularly, you’ve probably seen the multiple reports we’ve published on the issue.
Seeing this happen makes me mad and I want to do what I can to make people aware of what’s happening.
Parents have some power over this.
By standing with their children and helping them get onto the bus safely, we can make sure our children are safe.
Unfortunately during my ride along, I witnessed a young boy, maybe in first grade, who was out by the busy road all by himself waiting for the bus.
I watched as the young school student had to make the choice for himself, to cross the road to get onto the bus.
No parents were anywhere in sight, no adults even outside at the time. No one was there to pull him back, in case a driver made a bad decision at that very moment.
I was stunned.
Adults should be out at the bus stop with their children, especially with younger school students.
To me, that’s an obvious thing to do. It’s a parent’s duty.
A few positive things I gathered during my ride along: most stops did have adults standing with their students.
Additionally, many drivers were extremely cautious as they approached bus stops.
Some drivers stopped well before the red lights were even flashing.
Well done, to them.
Also, according to police, not one Huron Township resident has been caught passing a school bus this year.
That says a lot about the families that live in the township.
We care about the kids in our community, and so does our law enforcement.
By bringing more attention to this issue, maybe we’ll be able to solve it.
Thanks to the Huron Township police for letting me ride with them this week.