Tulsa school bus drivers and bus assistants launched a “Stop for the Bus – Our Kids Are Worth the Wait” campaign, urging drivers to obey the law and stop when they approach a school bus with red flashing lights or an extended red stop sign.
“Our top priority is getting kids to and from school safely. Drivers have a responsibility to pay attention for school buses and stop when they’re indicating kids are getting on or off the bus,” said Ed McIntosh, president of AFT Tulsa.
Oklahoma law requires drivers to stop when they approach a school bus that is flashing its red lights and/or has its red stop sign extended. They do not have to stop for a school bus if it is on a different roadway or if the bus is stopped in a loading zone by a controlled-access highway where pedestrians are not allowed to cross.
Disobeying these kinds of state laws has become a national problem. According to a recent survey of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, more than 75,000 vehicles passed school buses illegally on a single day earlier this year in 29 states. That translates to more than 13 million violations in a 180-day school year in those states alone.
In Tulsa, the 200 school bus drivers traverse 146 daily routes.