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Olmsted Falls Police reminding drivers to not pass stopped school busses

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Posted at 5:53 PM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-21 18:50:17-04

OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio — In Olmsted Falls, police are sending a reminder to drivers to slow down when the school bus comes to a stop, saying speedy drivers are becoming an issue.

Heath Krakowiak, director of business for Olmsted Falls City Schools, knows all the things a school bus driver must do to safely pick up and drop off students.

He was the head of transportation for Olmsted Falls schools for more than 10 years before changing positions. He said driving a bus is stressful as is, and drivers that won't follow rules don’t help.

“We need a little bit of help from our vehicles that are on the road,” Krakowiak said.

School buses use lights to let drivers know they are slowing down for a stop. A flipped-out stop sign alerts motorists to stop and sit tight until the sign swings back in. But drivers in the area are ignoring the sign and speeding by, putting others at risk.

“We do that, and all that can be for nothing in an instant. No one wants to be that driver where something like that happens,” Krakowiak said.

It’s become such a problem that Olmsted Falls Police Chief Odis Rogers put out a note to the public.

“It's a little bit frustrating because people know the law, you know,” Rogers said.

Rogers tells News 5 that this time of year the department usually sees one or two instances, but this year, between calls and social posts, it has been notified of more than a dozen.

Rogers believes drivers are just being reckless.

“I think the people are just in a rush. You know, we all have routines...in the mornings and the afternoons when the school buses are out there,” Rogers said.

But it's still not an excuse for putting a child at risk.

“Just stop and wait. It's usually a 30-second stop,” Rogers said. “Worst case scenario would be a tragic accident where a child or pedestrian was struck.”

So simply slow down and help out those behind wheel trying to keep the kids safe.

“Take a breath. Leave a few minutes earlier. Keep your phone down when you're driving, and help keep our kids safe,” Krakowiak said.

Anyone caught speeding around a stopped bus with its stop sign out can face a fine of up to $1,000.

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