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A banner hanging from a school bus in Cameron, Wisconsin, urges motorist to pay attention to student stops.


cle is going to stop. We train the driver, especially in a city environment, to crack the door, verify that traffic is stopping and then open the door. We also train kids to assume that other vehicle is not going to stop, just because the bus is stopped and the lights are flashing. Always use caution,” he expalined. Fraley set a goal of reducing illegal passing incidents


when he joined Kanawha County Schools in 2014 and led a multi-front approach. “The first thing we did was evaluate ourselves. We talked to the public,” he said. “They suggested things we could do first and we did.” For example, a school resource officer asked why the school buses were picking up and dropping off students on a busy four-lane street instead of diverting the buses to a nearby, lesser-traveled street. That move, alone, helped reduce violations. “We work with the media at the beginning of the school


year and throughout the year, so we keep the issue in the front of the public. We invite them on our buses, not to video any kids, but to record illegal passing. And, they usually see it. We also release [incident] videos from time to time to keep [the issue at] the forefront,” Fraley said. “Every time we introduce a new piece of safety equipment to the bus, we introduce it to the public.” The Kanawha County district also provides its drivers


with online forms to streamline the process of reporting illegal passes. “It’s more seamless,” Fraley shared.


46 School Transportation News • APRIL 2020


The collaborative effort has driven down illegal pass- ing incidents in the district from 16,740 in 2014 (93 per day) to 2,340 in 2018 (13 per day). Last year’s incidents increased again to 5,400 (30 per day). While that’s still nearly a 68-percent decrease from 2014, Fraley still isn’t happy. “That 30 really bothers me,” he said. As the largest district in West Virginia, Kanawha


County’s reduction accounts for virtually all of the state’s decline in illegal passing incidents, which fell to 29,520 from 42,660. Nationwide, reported incidents rose from 13,673,880 to 17,157,420 over the same period, Fraley pointed out. Opinions about potential solutions vary. “I don’t think we can fine our way out of the situation


because that’s reactive,” Burr said. “I’ve been in this busi- ness since 1984, and [illegal passing] hasn’t changed. We haven’t moved the needle much, and I just don’t get it.” One potential reason the problem persists, Burr


opined, is because motorists often anticipate the loca- tions of most traffic signs and signals. But stopped buses are “an unexpected event out of the norm.” While West Virginia adopted tougher penalties for


illegal passing last year, the law has yet to make the in- tended impact. Fraley wondered if additional legislation to earmark revenues for specific public safety initiatives could lead to more enforcement. Nemmers said she has seen opposition to higher


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