Pay attention around school buses and follow the rules of the road, that's the message school and law enforcement officials are trying to get across to drivers in Thomas County after a half dozen wrecks involving school buses this school year.
When you see lights flashing, and this sign extending, there's no justification to do anything but stop, "there is no hurry big enough to cost the life of a child," said Capt. Steve Jones.
Six school buses have been involved in wrecks in Thomas County in the past six months. No one suffered serious injuries, but deputies, state troopers and school officials are serious about protecting the lives of children. The most recent crash happened On US-84 near Boston last month.
"I didn't investigate the crash state patrol did, but in my professional opinion at the scene from what I saw, there were skid marks everywhere, he didn't see the ambers come on, and when the stop sign came out it was too late," said Jones.
Thirty-four hundred students ride the school bus daily, that is thousands of parents that depend on the school system to get their children to and from school safely, that's also thousands that depend on drivers to obey the law.
Superintendent Dusty Kornegay says drivers are trained to be on the look out for erratic drivers, "We do train our drivers to be aware of everything around them, and to try to take precautions whenever they can."
While instruction can help, deputies also have a message. Just stop, it's seconds out of your life,that could cost a child their life, it's just no excuse," said Jones.
If that isn't enough to make drivers think twice, keep in mind that passing a school bus can get you an expensive ticket and six points on your driver's license.