Posted: May 22, 2013 4:14 PM by April Hansen, KSBY
Updated: May 23, 2013 8:30 AM
25 million students ride the school bus each day.
The National Transportation Safety Board says it's the safest way for kids to get around, but if other drivers aren't paying attention, it can be dangerous.
"If the public was more aware what the red lights meant, I think more people would stop," said Judy Miller, a local bus driver.
Miller has been a school bus driver for 16 years.
She says the features of school buses have changed, but the law stays the same, and so do the red lights.
"If you see a bus, pull over and stop, or prepare to stop," said Miller.
It's a problem KSBY has been following for weeks.
Video taken at a bus stop on the west side of Santa Maria shows a city bus cruising by a school bus when its red lights are flashing.
A few weeks later, a California Highway Patrol officer pulled over drivers ignoring the warning signs.
It's been a battle for some parents to get drivers to stop.
"We come out here every morning and we are waving our hands and pointing to the lights and big letters saying you have to stop," said parent Keturah Aponte.
"And when they do stop only one lane of traffic will stop, but the other side just keeps going," said parent Jayme Shope.
A parent at that same bus stop shot video on Tuesday of a white truck braking to stop, but the car behind rear ends them.
Miller says it's the bus driver's job to make sure kids are getting on and off safely and the responsibility of other drivers on the road to stop.
Miller says the solution to this problem is awareness.
"Watch for those kids because you don't know what they are going to do," she said.
The NTSB says about 24 children are killed each year from school bus related accidents and about a third of those deaths are caused by drivers not stopping for a bus.
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