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Editorial: Rolling stops

Monday, May 7, 2007

The Jackson School District has a potentially dangerous situation at the intersection of Route Z and a gravel road that leads to the Gordonville Attendance Center. The intersection has a poor line of sight in one direction, and the gravel road curves and slopes upward to meet Route Z. The intersection is difficult to maneuver a lumbering bus through.

Bus drivers have been videotaped rolling through that intersection and others without stopping. The infractions involved at least four drivers.

After receiving complaints from a fired bus driver, the school district has made it clear to drivers that they must obey all traffic laws, but the Southeast Missourian videotaped some drivers rolling through the Route Z intersection after the district issued the warning.

The controversy over rolling stops comes just as six Jackson school bus drivers won awards in a bus safety competition in St. Louis.

We don't think the Jackson School District employs unsafe drivers. We do think the district has to be vigilant about making sure its drivers obey traffic laws.

But some drivers must think stopping at the Route Z intersection is less safe than rolling through. The district needs to consider improving access at the intersection.

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As a retired school bus driver I can understand why a driver might not want to make a complete stop. I had a situation like that on my route and was told to use my own judgement,"drive safely and make sure the kids were safe".

Some times not coming to a full stop is better if after a full evaluation of the traffic conditions you just move on through and get up to travel speeds quicker.

My school was able to get the County road district to install signs (dangerous entersection 'with a little drawing of of the entersection') ahead in time to warn traffic on the main road.

I might add, I drove for a city and county in the central part of Missouri.

-- Posted by Retired93 on Tue, May 8, 2007, at 9:17 AM

Instead of bashing the bus drivers or making excuses for them running the stop signs how about fixing the problem. City, county, and state officials should move to correct the problems at the intersection, BEFORE someone gets hurt.

-- Posted by gohomeandcry on Wed, May 9, 2007, at 9:30 AM

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