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Let’s keep our children safe

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Every school day, my daughter and I stand in the dark near the end of the driveway and watch her bus come to a stop on the opposite side of the road. We use the side of the circular driveway closest to the top of the hill to ensure cars coming up that hill can see the flashing lights on the bus (they can – I’ve stood over there to check). And, always, we look very carefully and wait very patiently for traffic to stop so we can cross the road.
We live on S.C. 9, just west of Buford Crossroads, and my daughter attends Buford Elementary School. There’s a lot of traffic at 6:45 a.m. with some parents trying to get their children to school or day care, people going to work and truckers trying to get their loads to delivery points. Unfortunately, some people are in too much of a hurry to stop for the bus.
Twice in the past two weeks, I have stood at the side of the road as the bus’s red lights flashed and watched vehicles fly by us. These aren’t the only incidents; since the beginning of the school year, this has happened eight times.
It’s not truckers with loads too heavy to stop in time; instead, drivers of passenger cars are risking my daughter’s and my safety. These are people just like me – with jobs they need to get to or kids to get to school – and they’re putting themselves above the safety and well being of children in our community.
It’s not just getting hit by these lawbreakers that worries me (although my personal safety and that of my daughter is my foremost concern). I also fear what witnessing such an occurrence would do to the children already aboard the bus. These are elementary school children, 11 years old and younger; seeing a fellow student hit by a car while getting on or off the bus could leave lasting scars for these kids.
So, I am asking you as a community to protect our children.
Drive more slowly and watch more closely during the hours that school buses are transporting our students, especially in residential areas where stops are likely.
Slow down immediately when you see the flashing yellow lights that indicate the bus will soon stop.
And stop for the flashing red lights; this is not a request, but a law. There may be a small child crossing the road who can’t be easily seen, especially just before sunrise.
Our children are the most precious members of our community. Let’s keep them safe.

Athena Redmond
Lancaster