Letter: Stop honking at school buses

To the Editor

The first time I walked my kids to the school bus stop, I met a group of excited parents. Some of them were eager to send off their kids to school after the long summer vacation, while others were anxious to see their kids board the bus for the very first time. I was one of those ‘first time in school parents.’ The school bus arrived on schedule at around 8 in the morning on Old Town Road, right outside Avalon Gates. Hardly had the kids finished boarding the bus than the driver right behind the school bus started to honk. He honked so loudly that it scared off the kids and for a moment, the kids stopped boarding the school bus and looked around wondering what was happening. Seeing as it was the very first day of school, I thought the drivers were a little bit impatient with the sudden interruption to their morning daily routine. It has been two years now and the honking has continued endlessly.

The school bus stops at Old Town Road are as follows, the 6.59 a.m. school bus arrives to pick up the high school students. It is then followed by the 7.04 a.m. school bus which arrives to pick up the middle schoolers. The elementary school buses arrive at 7.55 a.m. and at about 8.05 a.m. to pick up the elementary kids for Middlebrook and Frenchtown, respectively. However, due to the high number of students boarding the 7.55 a.m. school bus to Middlebrook, this particular bus bears the brunt of the continuous honking from impatient motorists.

Once the first driver honks, it becomes like a chain reaction where other drivers get into the action and honk just as loud as if the big yellow school bus is sitting idly in traffic blocking everyone from getting to their destinations. The honking always scares off the children. You can see it in their small little faces, the panic, and the questioning of what is going on.

The school bus stops for approximately three minutes. I would suggest to the drivers, so in a rush as to give total disregard to the children’s school bus, to work their time around those times that the buses stops in order to avoid the buses altogether or to look for alternative routes.

If the honking does not stop soon, I also suggest the school bus drivers as well as the residents write down the license plate numbers of these drivers and forward them to the appropriate authorities. The honking needs to stop.It can be safety concern as the honking might cause some kids to run across the road aimlessly. Let the children board to school and exit from school in peace and get back home safely.

I understand that people have places to go and things to do but a little courtesy to the school bus driver and the school children will not hurt and will go on to save time and keep everyone safe. Besides it’s the law to always stop when the school bus stops.

Christine Njoroge