BOZEMAN — Bus drivers are on their toes this school year. Over 1,000 kids step on and off the buses in Gallatin County, but drivers say they can't do it safely when people are flying right through the school bus stop arms.
“I don’t want anyone to deal with their child getting hurt,” said Chip Callantine. “It’s not something I ever want to experience in my lifetime.”
Callantine has been driving school buses for 2 years. He says it’s a big responsibility carrying precious cargo.
“When I see these kids, I see my grandkids,” said Callantine. “The better I do my job, then I know these kids are going to safely get to school and get home.”
Safety is Callantine’s biggest concern.
“When I see people blow right by me it makes me angry because they’re not thinking about the safety of the children,” said Callantine. “We have kids that have to cross the road sometimes.”
Callantine says every day he sees two to three people run right through his stop signs.
I happened to sit with Callantine at one of his stops off Norris Road. We watched and waited to see if anyone would follow the law.
The stop arm went up, but the cars didn’t slow down.
“We watched a silver 2001 Dodge blow right through the stop arm,” said Callantine. “Unless there’s a concrete divider, every lane has to stop.”
Yes, Callantine will remember the make and model of your vehicle.
“We’re going to be getting dash cams so we can get license plate numbers,” said Callantine. “That stuff gets turned into law enforcement.”
A fine that can be up to $1,000 the first time around.
“I would rather have people tell their boss, ‘Hey, I was stuck behind a bus,’ than to have to make a phone call to this child’s parent that their little boy or little girl was hurt.”
So, the next time you approach a school bus on the road?
“When the school bus puts on the yellow light, slow down and prepare to stop,” said Callantine. “When the red stop arm comes out, please stop.”