Polk County school bus driver pleading with motorists to stop illegally passing school buses

Polk County

Kathy Lewis, known by her students as Miss Kathy, cares about the kids on her bus as if they were her own.

“Daily, I have two to three people at a time running my arms. They’re going to kill a child,” Lewis said.

After one too many close calls, she’s calling out the bad behaving drivers. 

“I had a close call yesterday as a matter of fact,” she said.

Lewis told 8 On Your Side a driver illegally passed her stopped school bus and narrowly missed a child who was crossing the street.

Lewis said it happens most along State Road 17 in Babson Park.

She has four stops along the road that she has calculated take about four minutes in total to run, yet drivers are too impatient, she believes, to stop. 

“If something happened to one of my kids it would kill me. I mean I would stop driving, that’s how much it would affect me,” Lewis said.

The problem has plagued the Tampa Bay area.

In a recent video that has gone viral, parents can be heard cheering on Pasco County deputies as they pull drivers over, one by one, for passing a stopped school bus.

Florida law states drivers must stop for a school bus with its sign out, regardless of direction, unless it’s a divided highway. 

In Canada, drivers will lose their license for illegally passing a stopped school bus.

“If you can’t follow the law you shouldn’t be driving,” Lewis said.

Lewis is the latest of fed up bus drivers hoping everyone on the road will hear her plea.

“Stop people, please! You’re going to kill a kid!” she said.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office tells 8 On Your Side that deputies are looking into the issue.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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