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Sheriff's office urges motorists to use care when near school buses

Sep 30, 2012 - From staff reports

The Fremont County Sheriff's Office has received a total of 10 calls this fall about motorists who are passing stopped school buses despite the fact that the buses have red lights flashing and are unloading children.

Sheriff's Capt. Ryan Lee said in a press release that the number of calls is "outrageous."

"Anytime you see a bright yellow bus driving down the roadway, use common sense," Lee said. "Slow down, think children, think safety. Be aware that there may be children standing along the roadway waiting, or crossing the road. Be aware that the bus will stop to load or unload children at any given moment."

Lee said reports have been generated in all parts of the county excluding the areas in and around Lander. The highest numbers of calls have been generated along Wyoming Highway 134 in the Missouri Valley area and along U.S. Highway 26 east and west of Dubois. Most of the calls are being investigated by the Wyoming Highway Patrol.

"The most recent incident was reported along Highway 134 and is being called a near miss, when a semi-truck and trailer combination passed a stopped school bus," Lee said.

Deputies have been shadowing rural school routes when possible, but Lee said it is difficult to cover every bus route given the high number of rural roadways and school buses countywide. He asked motorists to use caution when driving near school buses, and not only because fines can result from traffic violations.

"That is not the big picture," Lee said. "Driving without regard to the safety of other citizens and passing stopped school buses can injure and kill the most precious members of our community, our children. Slow down, be aware, think safety, think children."

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