GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Lynda Mullaney has been a bus driver for about 10 years in Greenville County, and in that time, she said she’s had a lot of close calls with drivers neglecting to stop when she’s letting kids off the bus.
“All the sudden the car decides to just go around me,” Mullaney said while describing one time she was letting a student off. “And he said ‘Miss Lynda, had you not stopped to talk to me, that car would have been hitting me.'”
With the first day of school on Tuesday, Mullaney said she’s seen drivers forgot many rules of the road, after a summer off.
“They’ll be rushing to get through and they end up going through the stop arm, even though it’s been up, they’ve seen it, and had plenty of time to stop,” she said.
The Greenville County School District is also warned drivers Friday about the need to slow down in school zones, reminding that low speeds and frequent bus stops tend to create more traffic.
However, passing incorrectly can be dangerous.
“We continue to see way too many instances of people trying to pass school buses that they’re behind, or keep going if they’re going the other direction,” Greenville County School District Spokesperson Beth Brotherton said.
Brotherton explained that on a four-lane road, if the bus pulls over on the other side, drivers do not need to stop.
If a bus pulls over on a two-lane road, both sides must stop.
With about 400 buses heading out next week into the district, bus drivers had a strong message to other motorists.
“Leave extra time, be extra careful and don’t be in a hurry when you see a school bus that’s stopped,” Mullaney said.
Failing to stop for a school bus when it is pulled over and the sign is up, is a minimum fine of $500 in the state of South Carolina.