A recent thread on a local chatroom had participants complaining about having to deal negatively with school buses. Suggesting that the buses were not being operated safely, posters offered examples of almost colliding with buses on the streets of our fair city.
To ascertain fault from the posts and assign it to the parties responsible would be impossible since we weren't witness to the incidents. So we must go on those posting their versions. Yet being one who has logged many miles behind the wheel of an oversized vehicle, of which school buses are in that classification, I doubt those versions tell the whole story.
Simply put, school buses are like large pontoon boats, whereas cars are more like jet skis. Busses do not steer, brake, accelerate, turn or ride like a car. Bus drivers must take additional training and tests to be certified to drive a bus. In addition, they must primarily ensure the safety of their cargo, our children, all the while meeting time schedules and dealing with drivers not exactly, how shall we say, driving neither safely or friendly. It is a hard job. We should give them some slack.
The courtesy we already give to first responders on the roads is commendable. And most are a matter of law. We move over and stop or slow down and change lanes to help these heroes do their jobs. Why should we not extend some courtesies to school bus drivers?
Maybe we should slow down and share the road. I assure you that drive-thru we're rushing to go wait in will still be there. Give them the room they need to safely merge into traffic after dropping off our kids.
How about helping them go around corners by stopping well before the stop sign so they can go wide and still have room to safely turn? There a no laws saying we should do any of that. Maybe there should be. Point being is that by showing a little understanding and some self-restraint, we can help the school bus drivers deliver our children safely home from school — which is the reason for them to have the job in the first place.
Let's back the yellow.
As an afterthought, showing some courtesy around school buses can be extended to how we drive around each other. With the holidays approaching, traffic is only going to get worse. But maybe if we show a little kindness and compassion towards others on the road with us, we will experience a less hectic but more joyous season. A little effort in that direction will certainly go a long way. And Waxahachie will be better for it.
Alan Fox, Waxahachie