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Issue Home October 21, 2003 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Please Do Not Donate

Lately, I’ve noticed a big push for the United Way. I beg people not to donate to them. Not only have they tried for years to undermine the Boy Scouts of America, an American institution, but recently they got a judge, in that other planet called California, to declare the Boy Scouts a religious institution, just to disrupt help and donations to the Boy Scouts. The good people of America are under attack by a select bunch of loony people with deep pockets, trying to change the mores and values of America. Patricia Ireland recently became head of the YWCA. As former head of NOW, does this sound odd to you? The ACLU, a taxpayer funded organization, is constantly attacking our Judeo–Christian way of life.

Until the United Way reverses its decision, please do not give.


Angelo Petriello

Thompson, PA

My Level Best

This is not an excuse, only a mass apology. I do not have a lifetime to apologize to everyone personally. I do not want or need your pity; give it to someone who’ll lap it up like a warm bowl of milk on a cold winter’s day.

If anyone has something to say to me, have the nerve to say it to my face, not behind my back like a coward. I’m not fine china, I won’t break.

Yes, I’m the first to admit I have a lot of growing up to do. I’m doing my level best to let go of my past, but this is who I am, good or bad.


Florence Colwell

Susquehanna, PA

It’s For Their Safety

October 19 through October 25 is National School Bus Safety Week. Most people do not realize that school bus transportation continues to be one of the safest forms of ground transportation. In fact, a school bus is 28 times safer than a passenger car. This is no accident. It is through the efforts of hardworking and dedicated professionals, particularly the drivers, that makes this so.

Our tremendous safety record is due to tough federal and state regulations, extensive school bus driver training and review and our commitment to safety. School busing is a much more complex and demanding job than most people realize or appreciate. It is supported by an extensive network of personnel including mechanics, dispatchers and driver safety trainers. The vehicles are designed, built and equipped for the safety of the children they are used to transport. They are operated during the busiest travel periods of the day and in all types of road and weather conditions.

The problem is that our best efforts can only deliver a part of the results. An awareness of the law and the behavior of the driving public remain a critical element in the safety of the children we transport to and from school. Too many times school bus drivers report motorists passing stopped school buses when they are picking up or discharging students. School buses are equipped with an eight-way lighting system. The amber (yellow) lights will begin flashing between 300 feet and 150 feet before the school bus stops. During this time, the motorist must prepare to stop. When the school bus stops, the red lights will begin flashing and the side-stop arm will be extended. All motorists meeting or following the bus must be stopped at least ten feet from the bus and are not to proceed until the red lights are no longer activated and students have reached a place of safety. Pennsylvania law is quite simple to remember; a motorist must always stop for a school bus when the red lights are flashing. There are no exceptions. This includes fire engines, ambulances, police cars and funeral processions. If a motorist fails to stop for a school bus, it is an automatic sixty-day suspension of their driver’s license, five points on their driving record and a $100 fine.

School bus safety is also influenced by activity on the bus. The driver has to contend with weather and road conditions and maintain an awareness of all activity around the bus, driveways, intersections, people, pets and wildlife. While a driver has all this to consider outside the bus, he need not be distracted by misbehavior inside the bus. Rules are provided for students to follow while riding the bus and are there to maintain a safe and orderly environment. Parents/guardians should serve as role models and instruct their children in appropriate and socially acceptable behavior on a school bus as well as everywhere else. The driver should be accorded the respect he has earned and deserves.

Observe School Bus Safety Week, every week. It could save a life.


Montrose School District Drivers

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