School bus drivers say bus stop signs are ignored at start of school year

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Whether picking them up or dropping them off, bus drivers' main goal is to protect your children.

"We have a very detailed procedure when we stop," says Chris Hopkins. "We start with out amber lights which gives the drivers a warning that we are coming up to a stop, that we will be having children off the bus, or getting onto the bus.

Hopkins is a bus driver trainer for the Bowling Green Independent School District.

"Once we get into the stop, we activate our stop arm, but we do not let any children move until we're sure everyone has stopped around us," he goes on.

Hopkins says if you pull up to a bus while they're dropping off children, it's important to remember that the stop sign is there for their safety.

"It is a major safety issue, because it is all about the safety of our children that we have," he says. "This is our community's future, and so we try to keep it as safe as possible."

Hopkins says it's usually the weeks after school starts up that drivers ignore certain safety precautions.

"We do have more stop signs run in the beginning of school," he explains. "There's been two months where people have not had to see someone out on the roads, and now starting next week, we're going to have school buses running morning and afternoon. and so it just takes a little bit to get used to."

Hopkins says he worries about every kid that gets on his bus.

"These children that we transport are just like our own children," he says. "We may only have them for 10, maybe 15 minutes per day, but they are our children. We care about them. They are the most important thing that we have. It is the reason why we do the job."

Annual training for bus drivers has begun, both with Bowling Green City Schools and Warren County Public Schools.

Chris Hopkins says the school district is currently in need of bus drivers, and that nationally there is a bus driver shortage.

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