NewsLocal News


Bus stop safety concerns rising

Posted at 5:33 PM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 19:25:50-04

TULSA -- School has been back in session for a few weeks in Green Country, and many districts are concerned about the unsettling numbers of bus drivers seeing vehicles pass them while they're stopped.

Jenks bus driver Karen Keithline says she sees drivers blow pass her stopped school bus almost daily.

"My heart was beating a hundred miles an hour because it’s like no, no, no, no, no!" said Keithline.

She's driven for the Jenks school district for 20 years, and says the amount of people ignoring the stop sign at bus stops has gotten worse.

"When they’re coming at me I can usually see when they’re going to stop or not because they have their head down looking at their phone," said Keithline.

While there are cameras to watch the kids on the bus, she wishes they had camera on the stop sign arms, like Bixby school buses.

"Our stop arms go out and if they were on our stop arms then we can get a picture of the license plate and the driver themselves," said Keithline.

Tulsa Police Officer Craig Heatherly says he wrote three citations in less than an hour on Tuesday outside apartment complexes near East 41st Street and South 129th East Avenue.

"Absolutely blew the stop signs from the school bus, didn’t slow down, didn’t even acknowledge the school bus was there," said Officer Heatherly.

He says he has made it his personal mission to ensure safety in school zones and at bus stops after he worked a fatality in a school zone during his first week in the traffic unit.

"It just kind of stuck with me, and what I’d like to do in my career is never have to work another one," said Officer Heatherly.

Under city ordinance, the penalty is a maximum $500 fine, with a potential of up to 90 days in jail. The state has the option to suspect the driver's license for a year following a conviction.

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

Download our free app for Apple and Android and Kindle devices.

Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook