Speeding motorists worry bus drivers

Palmerston school bus drivers are worried motorists speeding past their stationary buses pose a threat to the children they carry to and from school.

Cars and trucks speeding past school buses stopped to pick up or set down children on State Highway 1 north and south of Palmerston and on the inland roads are a daily threat to the seven Palmerston school bus drivers and their passengers.

More vehicles speeding past school buses have been reported recently by the bus drivers to

Senior Constable Stefan Witehira, of Palmerston. He said he had asked the drivers to ''get the regos'' [registration numbers] of the speeding drivers.

One bus driver reported a car travelling behind his bus slowed to the regulation 20kmh before beginning to overtake, but he was shocked when another car moving at high speed then overtook the first car. Some of the culprits have been identified.

Bus driver Eileen Birtwhistle saw a local woman driving past at speed in the opposite direction when her bus was stopped to let children off.

When approached later by Mrs Birtwhistle, the driver said she ''didn't have to slow to 20kmh when she was going in the opposite direction'' to the school bus.

However, the Road Code states drivers travelling in either direction must slow to 20kmh when passing a stopped school bus.

Flashing 20kmh signs are being trialled on Pearsons Coachlines school buses operating in the Ashburton area, Pearsons manager Murray Pearson, of Oamaru, said.

His drivers felt the flashing signs definitely slowed traffic.

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