Children’s lives may be at risk boarding school buses


"How would you feel after killing a child?"

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM)– A young mother caught millions of parent’s fears on tape as the video shows a car speeding past a bus’s red stop sign while her daughter was getting off, almost killing her child.

“You could kill a child.” said Head Start of Washington County Vince Fertitta. “Then, how do you feel? How do you feel when you take a child’s life?”

Local school systems just started their 2019 academic year, however Head Start of Washington County said they’ve experienced an alarming high rate of drivers ignoring their red lights and stop signs. Ultimately, endangering the lives of kids boarding or getting off the school bus.

“Children don’t know where you’re at, they don’t know drivers, we try to teach them to look at cars but sometimes they just don’t look so we have to be their eyes.” said Fertitta.

The red line extends all the way around the bus represents the Danger Zone. The Danger Zone is a 10-foot circle around any bus that represents the area that most likely a kid will get injured or killed in a bus accident.

The American School Bus Council created the Danger Zone to ensure children’s safety as well as the safety of other drivers. Drivers are being encouraged to stay up to 25 feet away from a stopped school bus and even if you think you can pass it, don’t. A child’s life may be at risk.

“What if that was your child, grandchild, a relative or friend of yours child?” said Transportation Manager Erica Ahalt. “You don’t want that on your conscious because not only are you taking that child but you’re ruining your own life.”

Head Start staff is encouraging drivers to either leave their houses earlier on routine mornings, or exercise patience. There is no excuse for putting a child’s life at risk.

“We have to do our job to protect them, we expect the public to do theirs.” said Fertitta.

Head Start of Washington County will be holding their educational bus presentation all weekend at the Valley Mall.

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