UPDATE 5:55PM Thursday, January 18: Dallas County schools says its bus will no longer be dropping off students on this busy stretch of Harry Hines Boulevard.
A spokesperson said the bus was supposed to be stopping at a nearby apartment complex and blamed the mistake on a breakdown in communication with a new driver.
Drivers exiting the Dallas North Tollway complained they couldn’t always see the bus parked six lanes over, but were still getting hit with $300 tickets for passing it.
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dawn Roebuck said that she has no memory of passing a parked school bus in Dallas. “I was actually shocked,” she said. The $300 ticket that she received in the mail shows her caught in the act by the stop arm of a bus in November.
“I have children who ride the bus every day. I would never blatantly disregard school bus safety for kids,” Roebuck said.
When she went online to watch the full video, though, Roebuck noticed all of the other vehicles that were spread out across six lanes of traffic. “Not one stopped,” she said. “No person on that video stopped.” She counted 10 cars in all drive past the same parked bus while it was signaling drivers to stop.
At $300 a ticket, the City of Dallas could potentially have made $3,000 in revenue in the 30 seconds that the bus was stopped.
“I did not see it, nor in hindsight, would I feel safe stopping there,” Roebuck said.
Three years ago, CBS 11 News reported that this area on Harry Hines Boulevard was the top spot where drivers were ticketed for passing a school bus. It is located just past the point where three lanes of the Dallas North Tollway merge with three lanes of Harry Hines Boulevard.
“The more that I looked into it and thought about how unsafe that is,” said Roebuck, “it just didn’t seem right to me.”
In September 2015, the Dallas Morning News reported that Dallas County Schools, the entity that manages transportation for local school districts, had found a better solution, having buses pull into a nearby apartment complex instead. A CBS 11 News crew watched buses drop off elementary and middle school students in the complex’s parking lot.
But when the high school students arrived, their bus pulled up to the curb.
CBS 11 News cameras saw 14 cars drive past the parked bus on Wednesday afternoon. That is $4,200 in potential fines that the city could be issuing. Most of the violations occurred in the left lanes, echoing a pattern that Teresa Murphy witnesses on a daily basis.
“It’s a majority of the lanes on the far end that don’t stop,” said Murphy, who has lived on this corner for several years. She does not recall a time when the high school bus did not stop on the corner, and she wishes that more drivers would pay better attention. “It’s a big yellow school bus. You can’t miss it.”
Students getting off of the bus told CBS 11 News that they were not bothered by all of the traffic, since all of them live on the same side of the street where the bus stops.
Roebuck added that she now keeps an eye out for the school bus while traveling down that stretch of Harry Hines Boulevard, but worries that she might be rear-ended if she has to come to a sudden stop. “It’s pretty unfair, and it puts a lot of people in danger,” she said.
A spokesperson for Dallas County Schools, an entity that is actually in the process of dissolving, told CBS 11 News that it was looking why the school bus had resumed parking on the curb. CBS 11 News also reached out to the City of Dallas, which issues the tickets, but has not yet received any comment.