With school back in session, our focus often goes toward the safety of our children, both while at school and while on the bus.
It is during their journeys to and from school some additional attention is being paid in Hancock County, and we are grateful for it.
Recently, it was announced the Hancock County Board of Education would be working with the county Sheriff's Department to launch a pilot program to place deputies on random school buses. The point of the program is to make sure drivers are obeying the laws of the road when it comes to following and passing school buses.
There have been instances across West Virginia where motorists have passed school buses illegally, causing injuries or even deaths.
It is against the law to pass a school bus while it is stopped to let children off. School buses are equipped with flashing lights and signs to show every bus stop. It should be quite evident that there is a possibility of children being in the area, yet, sometimes, tragedy does happen.
We don't live in an area where attendants are available to assist small children crossing the road at every bus stop, so it is up to the rest of us to pay attention.
When we don't that's where this new program comes into play. A deputy will periodically be assigned to a random school bus in the county. He will be assigned with watching traffic throughout the bus route, and if he sees a motorist illegally passing the bus, or performing other illegal actions, he can contact another deputy nearby to then stop the vehicle.
It's a new method of enforcement, but it it works then we are all for it.
As a bonus, we believe the presence of law enforcement on these buses, while not the primary objective, will also help to crack down on potential instances of bullying.
Bullying is on the rise everywhere, especially in schools, and having a law enforcement officer there with the kids, we hope, could help to alleviate some of those issues.
We thank the Hancock County Board of Education and Hancock County Sheriff's Department for making this program possible.