Growing concerns surrounding children entering and exiting their school buses

Posted at 5:21 AM, Feb 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 07:55:24-05

MERIDIAN, Idaho — UPDATE: We spoke with Cascade Student Transportation after the original story aired and learned that drivers failing to stop behind a school bus in three or fewer lanes happens way too often in the Treasure Valley. This law isn't new and it isn't just pertinent to Idaho. In fact, "it's a federal thing you've got to stop at school bus red lights," says Regina Fronteras, Student Management Coordinator Lead for Cascade Student Transportation.

Confusion over when or when not to stop seems to be at the root of this problem. Fronteras explains, "three lanes or less, yes, you are stopping. Four or five, the fourth and fifth lane or additional lanes you do not stop."

Parents have plenty of things to worry about when it comes to their children. Sending them to school on the bus should never be one of them, but across the country it is a growing problem. Headlines cite that children are severely injured or even killed when attempting to enter or exit their school bus. While there are laws in every state to protect children from a dangerous outcome, in Idaho drivers frequently fail to abide by the state's Traffic Enforcement and General Provisions law.

Idaho law, Title 49, Chapter 14, states that "...the driver of a vehicle shall not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the visuals are no longer actuated. Oncoming traffic on a highway of more than three lanes is not required to stop upon meeting a school bus when visual signals are actuated."

Concerned mother, Kendri Lengkeek, contacted 6 On Your Side and shared with us that she has witnessed drivers failing to abide by the school bus laws near her son's bus stop at 5 Mile Road and Goldenrod, sharing that her son was almost hit by a driver who failed to yield to his bus. Her fear of a deadly outcome has motivated her to take action and she hopes to "get awareness out to the people..." adding, "you need to stop for bus stops, watch for those kids."

Any person found guilty of violating the provisions of this subsection shall be fined an amount of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500).

To view Idaho's law surrounding the matter, click here.