North Ridgeville schools, police crack down on drivers not stopping for buses

NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio-- It is a major safety issue facing local school districts: Drivers failing to stop when buses pick up or drop off students.

North Ridgeville City Schools is working to identify violators with the help of parents and bus drivers.

"They're too busy on their cellphones nowadays and they're just not paying attention on the road," said Chuck Nowak, bus driver.

Drivers like Nowak write down license plate numbers and give the information to police, while parents are recording violations and sending video to the district. The North Ridgeville Police Department issues citations for failing to stop for a bus with the lights activated.

Nowak said one of the worst violations he has seen happened as six children were getting off the bus.

"I checked my mirrors, put my hand down and right when the kids were going, a car came from three cars stopped behind me about 50 miles an hour past the bus from behind. I had to blast the horn and the kids stopped and he went right through. I wanted to chase the car," Nowak said.

School officials are hoping that an aggressive campaign by the school district to identify violators will serve as a deterrent.

"You never want to think in terms of tragedy, but I think worst-case scenario is someone disobeys this law and you've got a student that can get hit or you've got a much bigger issue than somebody being late somewhere," said Matt Yunker, North Ridgeville City Schools director of operations.