Report: Kansas drivers breaking school bus laws and endangering students

Posted: Updated:
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

According to a report released by the Kansas State Department of Education, drivers are ignoring school bus stop signs and putting kids in danger. It happened nearly 10,000 times in early 2017 in Kansas.

Students are headed back to school and the buses will start running their routes, but for parents like Leslie Hunt, keeping her daughter safe while she's getting on and off the school bus is a big concern.

"We've definitely had some talks about it already because this will be her first year to do a bus stop," Hunt said.

Parents have reason for concern. Last year, KAKE News caught drivers ignoring the laws and racing around parked buses as students stepped off. 

According to state law, a driver meeting any stopped school bus with flashing lights is required to come to a complete stop behind or in-front of the bus. 

Earlier this year, bus drivers across the state kept track of drivers illegally passing their buses. In just 30 days, they reported a whopping 9,967 drivers statewide breaking the law. More than 7,600 of those violations, happened in Wichita.

"You're never in that big of a hurry to not stop and wait," parent Heather Conkle said.

In some cases, bus drivers reported cars going around the bus by cutting through ditches.  

"Definitely we'll want to be out here watching when she gets on or when she gets off if we can," Hunt said.

We spoke to one of the largest bus contractors in the nation, Durham School Services. A spokesperson says it's been working with police in Andover to set up surveillance operations to catch drivers breaking the law. They say it's helped.

It'll cost you $400 if you're caught passing a school bus illegally.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

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