Bus drivers, administrators ask UDOT for help with highway speeds in Cache County

Feb 15, 2024, 5:39 PM | Updated: Feb 16, 2024, 8:33 am

RICHMOND, Cache County — Highway speeds near one Cache Valley school are drawing concern from both administrators and bus drivers. Now they’re turning to the Utah Department of Transportation for help.

Every day, more than 20 buses bring in around 900 students to North Cache Middle School. Navigating U.S. Highway 89 can be a concern when you’re driving a bus full of kids.

Mark Andreason is one of those bus drivers.

“I believe a lot of tickets could be written, but then again, I’m not there with the radar gun or anything,” Andreason said.

He’s raised concerns with both the Cache County School District and UDOT about the speed limit here, and how fast cars actually seem to be going.

“They’re 55, 60, 65 mph. They’re not even slowing down to the 45 because it goes from 60 to 45 back to 60 within less than a mile,” Andreason said.

He’s not the only bus driver who shares that concern. Wayne Reese says a lot of the drivers are concerned and he is too.

“We have wonderful school bus drivers who care about safety,” Reese said.

He’s the administrator over school transportation and logistics for both the Cache and Logan school districts.

“I would think if you’re going to slow the traffic down, it would be best to stop the traffic,” Reese said. “But in the past, that hasn’t qualified for a light traffic signal.”

It also doesn’t qualify for a school zone, since there’s no foot traffic crossing the highway and no neighborhoods to the west. That’s why they’re now turning to UDOT.

“They have their eyes on it every day where we can’t. So when you hear something like that, we as a department take it very seriously,” Mitch Shaw, UDOT region one spokesperson, said.

He says they will soon take on a traffic study of the area.

“We’re going to look at traffic counts, we’re going to look at speeds,” Shaw said.

What they find could lead to several possible solutions. Only time will tell. In the meantime, Reese said they’re looking at what they can do from a district level.

Bus drivers are being given the option to turn right here and then turn around further up the road. It takes about four minutes to get back on their route, but he said they have enough time to make it to their next stop at the elementary school.

“I’m very aware of wanting to keep the kids on my bus safe, that’s my number one priority,” Andreason said.

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Bus drivers, administrators ask UDOT for help with highway speeds in Cache County