Anyone with a driver's license knows that you're supposed to stop when a school bus has its red lights flashing and it's picking up or dropping off students, right? That was when I was a kid. Now, and for several years, buses in Michigan are required to have amber warning lights in addition to the red ones, and a flashing stop sign. If anything, it's become more obvious when you're supposed to stop for a school bus.

But there are idiots on the road, and some of those idiots are too self-absorbed with their agenda, just don't care, or both. For example, let's take 24-year-old Earl J. Shepherd III from Marshall, Michigan. Last Friday morning at 6:49am, he apparently ignored the red warning lights and flashing stop sign on a school bus that was being boarded by a 12-year-old boy named David.

David was listed in critical condition and airlifted to a local hospital according to a report. Police took Shepherd to a hospital where he willingly gave a blood sample for drug and alcohol testing. The incident is still being investigated by the Calhoun County Sheriff Department Accident Investigation Team, but pending more questions, Shepherd was released.

This is a harsh lesson, and a reminder to talk to your kids about getting on and off the bus. Our kids can't cross the street to board until the driver signals them to do so. We live on a back road where the speed limit is 55, yet some people fly by at 70 or 80. We love our driver because he, like all drivers should, checks ahead of and behind the bus for moving traffic before he allows the kids to cross the street.

Sure, when the kids see the stop sign and flashing lights, they get the assurance that the bus is trying to stop traffic. But remind them that the driver is trying to stop traffic, and there is absolutely no guarantee that it will. Tell your kids to wait for the driver to signal them to cross. Then after that, tell them to look both ways before they cross the street. It's simple, straight-forward, sound advice that can, and has saved lives!


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