On the morning of Sept. 14, Dan Piquette was driving his usual Route 50, picking up students to take them to class at Corvallis High School. The kids were boarding, laughing and talking, probably smiling behind their masks, greeting Piquette with the usual “Hi, P’Cat!”
Then at 7:25 a.m., as Piquette’s yellow bus was stopped at 35th and Knollbrook with red lights flashing, a large black pickup truck came up and blew past the bus “like we were a parked car,” as Piquette put it. “Didn’t even slow down.”
Moments later, a silver sedan did the same thing.
“Fortunately, none of my…[students] have to cross 35th in the morning. The afternoon is another story,” he said.
In a Facebook post, Piquette had even more to say: “Pretty much every school day in Corvallis [school bus] drivers report people running their red-flashing lights. I realize our police force can’t be everywhere, but it would be nice if they could be a bit more visible between 7:00 – 9:00 AM and 2:30 – 4:30 PM. It would also be helpful if those of you who witness this blatant disregard for our children’s safety, to get a good description and turn them in.”
Piquette expressed regret that he didn’t get the license plates of the cars, but observed that his training was to keep his eyes on his students. One Facebook commenter wondered if drivers had become careless about school bus lights because schools had been closed for so long. Another suggested that buses be equipped with cameras like police cars or stoplight cameras to record any infractions.