Polk mom's message to drivers remains the same: Stop for the school bus

Erica Richardson is a fighter. On Tuesday morning, she pulled out her newest weapon in the war against reckless drivers: She brought a bullhorn to her son’s school bus stop in front of her house on Kathleen Road.

Richardson has been trying to get drivers to obey the law that says, unless there is a median in the road, you have to stop for a school bus with its stop arm extended.

The problem is that people are ignoring the stop sign and continuing to drive down Kathleen Road as the kids board.

Richardson says is a dangerous situation that defies common sense.

“Slow down!” she said in exasperation. “It’s two minutes of your time. It can potentially be someone else’s life.”

It turns out that the day we had our cameras at the bus stop, drivers did stop, and Richardson did not have to use the megaphone.

“I knew they would stop as soon as they saw the camera,” she said. 

They reacted the same way when a sheriff’s office cruiser showed up. 

Richardson thinks drivers may have gotten the message because of the recent buzz over the last story we did. It was shared more 800 times.

All that is a step in the right direction, but Richardson says it is not a permanent solution. She says people are not going to wake up until they get nailed with a ticket, which can run up to $354.

The Polk Sheriff’s Office says there are not enough deputies to monitor Polk’s 9,400 bus stops.

Last school year, from September to December, a PCSO spokeswoman said the sheriff’s office handed out only four citations for blowing through a stop sign on a school bus.