COBB CO., Ga – School is back in Cobb County, and the district is warning drivers to stop for buses as they pick up and deliver students.
The problem of drivers ignoring bus stop arms and flashing lights isn’t getting any better.
It’s one of the many issues school bus drivers like Murl McCoy encounter.
“I had no idea when I began to do this just exactly how much is involved,” says McCoy.
11Alive’s Commuter Dude joined McCoy during a practice run of bus stops prior to the start of school. In one neighborhood, the driver of a pickup truck roared right past McCoy’s bus with the stop arm out and red lights flashing. McCoy blared his horn to let the driver know he’d violated the law.
“People do become very impatient with school buses,” says McCoy. “People cutting you off, running your stop sign.”
Since installing cameras on many buses in 2014, the Cobb County Police Department has issued 24,872 citations to drivers who’ve illegally passed school buses.
McCoy has to deal with the drivers around him, as well as the students who can sometimes get a bit rambunctious.
“That's what this big boy is all about,” says McCoy while pointing to his oversized rear-view mirror. “Watching those kids with one eye and looking ahead with the other. You have to train yourself,”
McCoy was once a student in Cobb County. The 74-year-old has been driving a bus for 13 years, traveling some of the same roads he traversed as a youngster. He left a job selling cars to work for Cobb County.
“I love children,” says McCoy.
He considers driving a bus to be like a ministry.
“Any way I can positively influence a child is rewarding to me.”