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Issue Home October 22, 2008 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

It’s That Time Again!

To the residents of the Susquehanna Fire Department coverage area. The annual fire department fund drive is underway. Every household in the coverage area should receive a donation request by mail.

The fund drive is very important to the operation of the fire department. We rely on the fund drive donations to operate the fire department each year. When you contribute to the fund drive, you are helping to insure that the fire department will be available if you should need it. It is more important this year than ever that the community support the fire department fund drive, given the unprecedented cost increase in operating the fire department. All of you who are paying for gasoline know what a hardship it is. You can imagine how much it costs to fuel a vehicle the size of a fire truck.

If you have not received a fund drive request, please contact the Susquehanna Fire Dept, P.O. Box 175, Susquehanna, PA 18847, or call 853-3861.


Susquehanna Fire Department

School Bus 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 eight times safer than a passenger car. This is no accident. It is through the efforts of hard working 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.

School bus drivers are justifiably held to a higher standard as professional operators. We feel we attain that goal with superior driving habits and skills. The problem is that our best efforts can only deliver a part of the results. An awareness of the law and behavior of the driving public remains a critical element in the safety of the children we transport to and from school. When a motorist feels they can’t remain behind a school bus and will go through stop signs, make u-turns in the middle of the road, or pull directly out in front of the bus because they are in a hurry, they are not doing this just to the bus driver, they are doing this to all the children riding on the bus. These types of actions put the children in unnecessary danger.

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 8-way lighting system. The amber (yellow) lights will begin flashing between 300 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 (10) feet from the bus and are not to proceed until the red lights are no longer activated and the 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 60-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.


James M. Ainey

Montrose, PA

They Don’t Mix

In Wednesday’s paper, “Calling all Catholics” hit a nerve. I am a so-called Democrat, but I don’t believe in abortion. The problem lies in the fact that abortion should never be tied to the two political parties.

It should not even be in politics at all, yet the reason it is, is to keep the two parties separated and divided, and to keep stirring up the pot.

Can you, in your heart, believe that everyone in the Democratic Party believes in abortion?

The other thing that has me wild, is the church trying to tell us not to vote for the Democrat because of this issue!

“Church” and “state” are two words that need to be addressed here. The people in poverty in America are praying for change.

However, if I get told how to vote, or what to vote for, or even if someone insinuates to me how to vote because they believe that all Democrats are no good, abortion should not be a political issue, see?

Right now, our lives are being turned upside down and we citizens have to decide who will help us the most. The pickings are sparse, but we have to decide and I know that Catholic or not, I am not voting for more of the same.

Next Sunday when the collection plate is passed, see who or how many people you offended.

Politics and religion don’t mix. Look at Iraq!

We need to learn, already.


Peter A. Seman

Thompson, PA

Letters To The Editor MUST BE SIGNED. They MUST INCLUDE a phone number for "daytime" contact. Letters MUST BE CONFIRMED VERBALLY with the author, before printing. Letters should be as concise as possible, to keep both Readers' and Editors' interest alike. Your opinions are important to us, but you must follow these guidelines to help assure their publishing.

Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript

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