Driver: Highway shoulder bus stop puts boy, others at risk
NEISD turns down request to change bus stop deemed dangerous
SAN ANTONIO - A driver on Highway 281 whose plea for a school district to make a bus stop safer for a child has been turned down by the North East Independent School District.
Elisha Best said she watches every weekday as an Northeast Independent School District bus stops on the shoulder of the freeway just north of Marshall Road to pick up a little boy in front of a storage company.
She said some cars stop for the bus and some do not, even though the bus has its red lights flashing and door open.
The KSAT 12 Defenders confirmed that some drivers ignore the bus’ lights on the busy freeway early in the morning.
Best complained to the district, saying the weekday stop is a recipe for disaster.
"If the bus gets rear-ended, or if the car gets rear-ended or whatever, everybody in that immediate area it would just be kind of a domino effect," Best said. "I sit in that turn lane with my son in the back seat thinking, 'Is this one going to stop? Oops. Is this one going to stop? Oops.'"
The boy's mother, Vickie Dzubinski, said that last year, the bus would pull off the highway and pull up the driveway of the storage company to pick up the boy. She said this year, however, it stops on the shoulder.
The child lives on the storage company property in the family's home and there are no other stops nearby.
Dzubinski has not complained herself, but agrees with the concerned driver.
"I think it would be safer for the bus to come up because the bus does have enough room to pull up into the parking lot," Dzubinski said.
But NEISD spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor said this year's bus is longer than the one last year and the stop is not considered a hazardous route because there are traffic lights nearby.
"There are several places along ... Marshall Road ... where cars have a traffic light and they do come to a complete stop," Chancellor said.
She said the danger comes from drivers who disregard the bus’ lights and stop arm.
"It is a great reminder to let drivers know that they are doing something that is illegal," Chancellor said.
The Texas Department of Transportation reports that between January 2011 and September 2012, there were 33 wrecks on Highway 281 between Marshall Road and Mountain Lodge Road. Mountain Lodge is just north of Marshall. None of those crashes were fatal.
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