COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - “If it were my child on that bus, I’d want her to do whatever it [sic] took," says parent, Karen Ivy.
The Lee County Alabama School Bus System transports over 6,000 students twice a day during morning and evening routes while covering over 400 square miles, according to their website. A News Leader 9 viewer snapped a photo Tuesday morning showing what appears to be a Lee County School Bus stopped at a pick up location on Lee Road 240, parked diagonally over both lanes.
In the photo you can see what appears to be a child nearby getting ready to cross the road to get on the bus.
Ivy says she knows what it’s like each day to send your child off to school, riding the bus for transportation.
“I think [the photo] is fine. I think the bus driver is doing what she has to do to keep our children safe,” says Ivy.
Ivy isn’t the only parent who feels that way.
“It’s safer for the children. I think it’s great," says parent, Penny Clark.
“I’d much rather her do that and a child get across safely then her park the right way in the lane and a child get hit. Then we’ve got a dead child.”
The Lee County School District’s Transportation Bus Procedures Manual lists that "Each driver must realize that his responsibility is great and his cargo is precious”—but at no point does the manual address specific guidelines for diagonally parked buses at stops or the legality of the action. Clark says even though the bus appears to be parked over the median lines, she believes the bus driver’s intentions are good.
“There’s already a stop sign on the side of the bus so technically the cars shouldn’t be able to come the other way anyways," says Clark.
“If you see a school bus stop, it doesn’t matter whether she’s parked straight, in the aisle, or she’s halfway over, just stop," says Ivy.
Lee Lindsay, the Lee County School District’s transportation director, says he’s aware of the incident on 240, is looking into the matter, and also will be sending out protocol reminders to bus drivers in the near future.
“We have certainly reached a stage of high alert status with the public and bus stops. I can only pray our students will remain safe and the public will become more alert to our buses and lights," says Lindsay.