The sign that really matters

'Stop' isn't a suggestion for motorists -- it's a life-saving command

Could there be greater anguish for a family during the holiday season?

Jaidyn Williams – the 8-year-old boy struck by a car as he was boarding a school bus Dec. 9 on Belair Road – died at Georgia Regents Medical Center the day after Christmas.

Scott William Hancock, who police say was driving the minivan that hit the fourth-grader, was in the Richmond County jail Friday, without bond, on charges of serious injury by motor vehicle, reckless driving and failure to stop for a school bus while loading and unloading. With Jaidyn’s death, more charges are possible.

Whenever a driver attempts to flout the warning signals of a stopped school bus, it shows a dangerous disdain for the basic rules that hold society together.

Waiting behind a deliberately slow bus can be aggravating. But if you think it’s harmless to drive past a bus or curve around one despite its flashing red signals, you’re wrong.

You’re buying just a few seconds of saved travel time at an incredible risk. It’s not worth jeopardizing a child’s life to attempt reaching your destination less than a minute earlier.

A woman in Cleveland, Ohio, last year made it a habit of zipping past a stopped school bus in her Jeep. She almost hit children, and a judge ordered her to stand at a busy intersection with a sign reading, “Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.”

The sign that really matters, though, is the flashing red “stop” sign you obey to help assure that tragedies such as this never happen.

Jaidyn Williams, 8, dies of injuries after being hit by van
Charges upgraded to vehicular homicide in child's death

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