LITTLETON, Colo. (KDVR) — Parents and students in Littleton are concerned after they say people are ignoring school bus safety laws and other rules of the road.
FOX31 Problem Solver Joshua Short is on it, and he was able to get his hands on some video showing people just breaking the law.
In multiple videos, you can see drivers brazenly blowing past a stopped school bus as kids board for school.
Our cameras on the ground and in the air also captured multiple cars blowing past stop signs as well.
“When the bus comes with its stop sign open, I see people running the stop signs with kids crossing the road or waiting for the bus,” said one woman who captured video of the incidents. She said she’s scared for her kids who take the bus every morning.
“I wanted video so other people could see what I was seeing, seeing it firsthand,” she added.
She said she reached out to the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office about her concerns, complaining that not enough is being done and that she doesn’t just want them present, but the law enforced.
“I want them to show up, I want them to be there to protect our children, I want them writing tickets, I want them being stopped,” she said.
Colorado law states the driver of a car must stop at least 20 feet before reaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing, whether it is on your side of the road, opposite side, or at an approaching intersection. And you must remain stopped until the flashing red lights are no longer in operation.
A local middle schooler said she’s seen drivers breaking a school bus safety law at least 25 times a month.
“I feel like it’s a really easy law because all you have to do is just stop,” the Jeffco middle-schooler said, adding, there’s nothing more to it.
Officials with the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office responded to our request for comment on this story. They sent us this lengthy response:.
“We have received complaints from the individual we believe contacted you.
Around September 13, we entered extra patrol for the area of concern (Garland and Holland) for bus times of 6:30 and 6:45 am. This means that when deputies are not on calls or otherwise busy, and have “free time,” they conduct extra patrols for areas that an extra patrol has been entered into the system.
On October 13, a patrol sergeant took a call from a resident of that neighborhood (I believe this is who contacted you) complaining they have not seen active enforcement. As a result, that sergeant sent a request to all other patrol sergeants for the precinct, as well as the Traffic sergeant, encouraging they have their deputies be visible and enforce any bus violations in that area as much as possible.
We did patrol the area on Thursday, October 14; Friday, October 15; and Monday, October 18. During those times, we made one traffic stop for a stop sign violation.
On October 19, the resident called again to complain. A sergeant attempted to return her call 3 times – his calls were not answered and the voice mailbox was full so he was unable to leave a message. The sergeant then contacted the bus driver. The driver said she has had 3 violations of cars running her stop sign since the beginning of the school year, and none in the previous 3 weeks (dating back to the end of September). The sergeant then also encouraged Watch 3 deputies to patrol the area a couple times a week. (Watch 3 are on duty until 7:00 a.m. so there’s an overlap of Watch 1 – who hit the streets at 6:30 a.m. – and Watch 3.)
Another sergeant did speak to the complainant the evening of October 19. He explained the efforts we’ve been making and said that she seemed to understand “we are not sweeping this under the rug.” That sergeant also asked the Watch 1 & 3 sergeants to continue having deputies patrol the area around 6:15 am if they weren’t on other calls. During his conversation with her, he explained that while we may not be writing tickets for violations, just our presence in the area is a deterrent and in that regard, we are having an effect.
I can say with certainty that her concerns have been passed on to each shift since October 13 and we’ve been as responsive as possible. I hope this helps complete the picture.”Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office