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Editor: 

Last year in Montana, in one month, 5 highway patrol vehicles were struck by inattentive drivers. All were hit while pulled to the side of the road to assist or stop another vehicle. In spite of the “Move Over” law, 12 Wyoming patrol vehicles have been struck by inattentive drivers, since 2016. If drivers don’t notice law enforcement vehicles equipped with numerous flashing lights, then they are just as likely to not see a school bus parked in the middle of the traveled way! Hopefully changes have been made by our school districts to at least follow the highway protocol requiring school buses to move their vehicles to the far right when they are stopped to load and unload. WYDOT workers experience the same danger. In a recent article in the NWDN, one worker stated that in his 38-year career, his crew has experienced around 40 incidents where their vehicles have been sideswiped, had side mirrors damaged or had vehicles rear-ended. These incidents point out the extreme danger of parking on the side of our roads. If they haven’t already done so, I am calling on the school district, highway patrol and parents of bused children to be pro-active and start working towards getting school buses completely off of the roadway when loading and unloading children. This means parking vehicles completely off of the traveled way by using approaches or turnouts without stopping traffic. The current protocol, if still followed, creates an extreme danger not only for the school buses but for the stopped vehicles as well. Remember that in May of 2014, a bus transporting mine workers, about ten miles south of Gillette, plowed into a line of traffic stopped for road construction. The collision involved eight vehicles. Apparently the driver of the bus was fatigued and had fallen asleep. Three individuals were killed and three injured in this accident which could just as easily happened to a stopped school bus and/or the traffic behind it or the traffic stopped in the opposing lane for the school bus. It's time for a change!

TERRY REHAK, Worland

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