STOP FOR STUDENTS

School bus driver hailed as hero for saving student lives after car ignored bus stop arm

Feb 23, 2024, 7:41 PM | Updated: Feb 24, 2024, 2:01 pm

Joey Skelton, a school bus driver for a Utah school is receiving a thank you poster and an award fo...

Joey Skelton, the Utah school bus driver receiving a thank you poster and an award for his actions that possibly saved students lives. (KSL TV)

(KSL TV)

WEST JORDAN — A Jordan School District bus driver is being praised after he prevented a possible tragedy from happening to students.

On Dec. 20, Joey Skelton was dropping off kids like usual. He put the warning lights on, brought the bus to a stop and brought out the stop signs. But then, a car came racing past the bus at full speed, completely ignoring the bus’s extended stop arm.

“I threw open my car door and jumped out and waved my arms and yelled,” said Cari Minnesota, who was picking up her grandson.

Skelton honked his horn and quickly motioned to the students not to cross the street. His swift actions likely saved lives.

Unfortunately, instances like these are not uncommon.

“We are seeing 700 or more school bus stop arm violations a day throughout the state of Utah,” said Sanda Riesgraf, director of communications for the Jordan School District. “That amounts to more than 100,000 school bus stop violations every year in the state.”

Why drivers ignore school bus traffic rules; what Utahns can do about it

Law enforcement reminds drivers that there are penalties for these offenses.

“It’s a zero-tolerance deal for us,” said Sgt. Kendall Holt with the West Jordan Police Department. “Being late and running late is not worth a child’s life.”

Holt said they now have officers following school buses every morning and afternoon to ensure students’ safety.

“We need everyone’s help to stop for school buses when the red lights are flashing, and the stop arm extended,” said Paul Bergera, Jordan School District transportation director.

It’s a message that Skelton echoed.

“Slow down. Pay more attention. Be more mindful of the bus and not just the bus but the kids on the bus,” Skelton said. “That’s somebody’s child. That’s somebody’s whole world right there getting off that bus.”

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School bus driver hailed as hero for saving student lives after car ignored bus stop arm