Children on board

Bus drivers want motorists to pay attention

Shirley Cromer was driving a bus full of schoolchildren on Fourth Street on Tuesday when the driver of the car next to her tried to make a left turn from the wrong lane.

The car hit the side of the bus.

None of the 35 children on the bus was hurt. Police cited the driver for an unsafe lane change.

Cromer, who is in her second year as a Moffat County School District bus driver, said area drivers have been particularly careless the past few days around school buses.

On Thursday morning, Cromer was driving on Tucker Street when a driver ran a stop sign in front of her, she said.

After that incident, she had to pull over for a few minutes just to gather her thoughts, she said.

"They just don't pay attention to the road," Cromer said of careless drivers.

According to Craig police, the driver in Tuesday's accident didn't see the bus when she tried to change lanes.

Cromer said she finds it difficult to believe drivers don't see the big yellow school bus. But careless driving around school buses is common, she said.

"People just don't care," Cromer said.

Although the recent rash of careless drivers makes her nervous, she said the students on the bus rarely notice what other drivers are doing.

"They're too busy yakking with their friends," she said.

Jim Baptist, transportation director for the school district, said drivers tend to be at their worst around school buses in the fall. The drivers aren't used to the buses on the road after the long summer break, he said.

Drivers also can be careless around the first of the year, when they seem to be in more of a hurry, Baptist said.

"It's such a fast society nowadays," Baptist said.

Although there was an accident this week, the school buses still are safe, Baptist said.

There are usually less than two accidents a year, he said.

Baptist said drivers should be careful around buses, especially when the buses are stopped.

"People need to realize the cargo that they're carrying," Baptist said. "When a bus is stopped, it's stopped for a reason."

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