Westlake officials looking into school bus stop confusion

Westlake officials looking into school bus stop confusion
(Source: Houser, Shannon)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It’s a scary bus stop on a busy road. One terrified woman reached out to Cleveland 19 after watching dozens of drivers fly past her sons school bus.

Kandice Caldwell is terrified by what she sees outside her home.

Westlake officials looking into school bus stop confusion

“It’s every day that a car’s passing a bus,” Caldwell said.

Cars in the opposite lane are flying past her 6-year-old son’s school bus.

Cleveland 19 went to Center Ridge Rd. in Westlake to check it out. Video shows the bus pulling up, the driver turning on the red flashing lights and putting out the stop arm. Then, at least three cars speed by.

The bus driver honks her horn loudly until the other oncoming cars come to a stop.

Drivers pass Westlake school bus

What do you think? Drivers are flying past this school bus in Westlake. Ohio law says drivers don't have to stop on both sides if there are four more lanes. This road has three lanes, but the center yellow lines are creating some confusion. Now, the city's law director is looking into if these drivers are illegally passing the bus.

Posted by Shannon Houser on Wednesday, December 5, 2018

“It’s just getting progressively worse, and with the weather, that’s my biggest concern," Caldwell said.

There’s a big debate on whether these cars are breaking the law.

According to state law, drivers must stop when behind a school bus or in an opposite lane when there are less than four lanes.

This bus stop at Center Ridge Rd. appears to be a three lane road, with a yellow stripped median to prevent drivers from getting into the turning lane too soon.

City of Westlake Law Director Michael Maloney agreed the intersection is confusing.

“It’s not clear cut. I don’t think it is black and white,” Maloney said.

He continued, “People are diligent, but they think they can keep going here. That’s the issue."

Now, the city is going back out to this bus stop to find an answer. They might even consider lane re configurations.

“We’ll have to spend some time with our engineer and see what the options are,” Maloney explained.

For now, Maloney said police won’t be ticketing drivers.

“We don’t want to cite people who aren’t violating the law. We also want a safe drop off zone,” he said.

Kandice Caldwell is just hoping drivers might be courteous for the safety of her son and others on the road.

“It would be nice if they could stop for one minute. That’s all we need is one minute to get my son off," Caldwell said.

She added, "It’s an accident waiting to happen, unfortunately. I really do pray that they look into it and address that this is a very, very busy road.”

Westlake police will be stepping up patrols in that area because of all the speeding drivers that fly through the intersection.

It could be a few weeks before the law director decides if drivers will be ticketed for passing a school bus.

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