By Braddah Lance
Wouldn't you think that riding a school bus is one of the safest modes of transportation?
Well not from the three bus drivers I witnessed in two days.
On Tuesday, a school bus operated by Ground Transportation thought he was too good for traffic - or one of da keiki riding da bus had to go bathroom - cause instead of crawling in pau hana traffic like the rest of the population, he decided to take the Pali Hwy cut off heading Ewa bound and make an illegal left turn.
Now imagine that the left lane is bumper to bumper from vehicles coming from Punchbowl Street - if you haven't taken the Pali Hwy cut off before, it's a "free-flowing" lane - ...... until a huge a$$ bus decides to plop itself stopped at the very last foot of road, trying to force its way in making an illegal left turn. The cars behind stop suddenly as they have no other option but to wait while the Punchbowl vehicles are screaming to themselves, "no let 'em in!"
Wassup Wit Dat!
Well, I'm pretty sure it wasn't as G-rated as that.
Then yesterday, heading Ewa bound from the Vineyard on ramp
(Click hea to see da location), a Kamehameha School Bus does the same with the exception that it isn't an illegal turn but it's one of those situations that you're not supposed to "cut in line". She bulls her way in anyways as her other counterparts have done the same a few moments ago and then does so again at a - imho - a very dangerous part of the freeway.
She not only made the traffic behind her slow down, she actually crossed the solid line to change lanes cause she nevah like wait a few more car lengths! What gets me is that she literally had way more than enough time and space to have changed lanes safely prior to that and everyone that has driven that stretch of H1 knows that!
In the same ride home, I get on the viaduct and traveling sixty-something mph while I noticed a short school bus way ahead. Now I'm traveling a good clip - going along with the flow of traffic - but the funny thing is that I wasn't catching up to the school bus. Logic just tells me that the school bus was going 70+! When I finally catch up to the Tomasa School Bus, I couldn't tell if it was handicapped keiki or not.
Now I dunno about you, but when I witness the very drivers that we entrust our keiki's lives to travel with showing such recklessness, I can't help but wondah, WTF?!
Seriously, was there going to be a bonus at the drop off if they got there at a certain time? Was there someone in an emergency situation? Did they have carte blanche about not following the laws of the road or safety for others?
And you wonder why these habits get passed on and get worse by generation. You got a bus full of keiki witnessing - and being part of - first hand, probably every single day, the very essence of rule breaking without consequence. And totally shame on you bus drivers for constantly perpetuating that! I witnessed three separate bus company driver's putting keiki at risk so it's not like it's just one company. How would you feel if you saw your son/daughter/niece/nephew riding in a vehicle like that? What if that turn you decided to take so late cause you nevah like wait in traffic caught a vehicle behind off guard? A lot of people could/would have been injured.
I'm disgusted that adults who should definitely know better - while having tremendous responsibility to drive safe - would commit such dangerous acts. I still can't believe it's a school bus full of keiki that are being put into these situations and while I have not witnessed or heard of any tragic accidents, at this rate, there's bound to be one. Granted there are many many other drivers who take more pride and responsibility about their driving skills, but considering it's school time and these buses are more visible than ever, they should be way more diligent.