Speeding drivers ignoring school buses is an ongoing problem near Miamisburg High School, a parent who lives there says.
The issue is being monitored better in recent weeks, Joanna Bentley said, but she is asking the city and the school district to take long-term measures to address what she called a “widespread problem.”
Bentley said she lives on Belvo Road across from the high school and vehicles too often speed and don’t stop for buses picking up students, including her kindergartener and middle school student.
“Cars are constantly speeding in the school zone,” Bentley said. “I was told (by police) that our street is a hot spot for speeders.”
About 30 school-age children are killed in the U.S. each year in school-transportation-related crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Most of those crashes take place outside of the bus or in other vehicles, the NHTSA found.
During a 10-year span ending in 2015, 34 percent of those fatalities involved pedestrians and 18 percent were occupants of school transportation vehicles, according to the NHTSA.
Bentley said one Miamisburg driver was issued a violation in late November after police stepped up patrols in the area at her request.
“The person admitted that they didn’t see the bus,” she told Miamisburg City Council last week. “The problem is not just the bus stop we use. Having talked with the bus driver, this is a widespread problem.”
The next day, she said, a bus driver told her two cars drove past a stopped bus.
“And all it takes is one child to dart out into the street,” Bentley said. “And not every bus stop has a parent out there like me watching for those buses and cars.”
Among the steps she asked the city to consider taking:
•Provide residents information about laws for drivers in the vicinity of school buses;
•Install flashing school zone lights at high school;
•Set up a camera that records speed and posts it;
•Patrol the area more on a regular basis;
•Cite drivers for stopping in street to drop off students instead of lining up in the school parking lot.
Bentley said she will ask school district officials to take further steps, including equipping the buses with cameras.
She said bus drivers have too many responsibilities ensuring the safety of students to gather information on violating motorists and “in order to prosecute, you have to have a license plate number.”
Miamisburg Mayor Dick Church, Jr. told Bentley he was “impressed how you have taken it upon yourself to correct the situation.
“It’s not on deaf ears,” he said. “We are hearing you and our people will look into those things that we can do.”
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