Snow banks block kids at bus stops

generic inside school bus snow

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — It has been several days since many kids in West Michigan have gone to school because of the weather.

As the snow continues to fall, snow banks throughout the area have continued to get larger.

A kid watches a snow plow truck in his Georgetown Township neighborhood. (Jan. 30, 2014)
A kid watches a snow plow truck in his Georgetown Township neighborhood. (Jan. 30, 2014)

School officials urge drivers to be cautious and on the lookout for students when they return to bus stops.

“We always tell to stand back and be as far back away from the bus as they can when it is approaching,” said Darryl Hofstra, supervisor of transportation for Forest Hills Public Schools.

A school bus stop in Georgetown Township. (Jan. 30, 2014)
A school bus stop in Georgetown Township. (Jan. 30, 2014)

Hofstra said the district teaches its students to stand at least 10 to 20 feet back from bus stops to ensure their safety.

24 Hour News 8 rode the bus with Hofstra Wednesday and placed a stick standing 51 inches tall — the average height of a 10-year-old — next to a snow bank where students would be waiting for a bus.

While on the bus the stake was fairly easier to see, but in a car it would be difficult to know a child was standing there waiting for a bus.

High snow banks can make it difficult for drivers to see children waiting at bus stops. (Jan. 29, 2014)
High snow banks can make it difficult for drivers to see children waiting at bus stops. (Jan. 29, 2014)

Hofstra said there are things people can to do to help ensure the safety of students while waiting for a bus.

“Keep the driveway clear. Sidewalks, where there are sidewalks, keep them clear. Keep the snow piles pushed back as much as possible,” he said. “When they know there are going to be students waiting in a particular location, do the best they can to make that are open and safe for students to stand and wait.”

Hofstra said the height of snow banks do not play in a role in deciding if school will be canceled or not.

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