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MAILBAG: Something Has Got To Change. And It Has To Change NOW

In just the past few weeks, two precious young children were torn from our communities after being tragically struck by buses. I understand that the incidents are separate and unrelated, and how they occurred are not the same. But the problem they share – and that we all share in some way – are exactly alike.

I cannot even begin to fathom the pain that their families are experiencing, and I won’t claim that I can remotely imagine it – nobody should ever know the excruciating agony of losing a child. And I know that in the fresh aftermath of tragedy, it’s easy but usually unwise to allow our emotions to grab hold of us and begin lecturing others. But in this case, I feel that I must because lives are literally at stake.

There are close calls and near tragedies every day – especially relating to children in streets – and yet every day we choose to ignore them. Even putting aside these specific tragedies, there are innumerable instances of children being nearly struck by vehicles. We don’t hear about it because it seldom makes the news. But don’t fool yourself – these near-tragedies happen constantly.

Why does it matter? Because I firmly believe that we don’t take the matter anywhere seriously enough. Yes, there is an argument to make that the Monsey region is simply bustling with too many children to ensure that such horrifying tragedies never happen. But not every argument is a good one. And this one is a terrible one.

Look around. Notice what’s going on. Are we truly keeping our children safe? Are there ANY protocols in place to make sure these things don’t happen? The answer is no. Not even close.

I’m not going to sit here and pontificate as if I have all the answers. I don’t, and I know it’s complicated. But we, as residents of Rockland County, cannot sit by and watch as children are needlessly killed and do nothing. Doing so shows an incredible and shocking lack of interest in our own most precious asset’s wellbeing. And that would be beyond horrifying and shameful.

A Frustrated and Heartbroken Monsey Resident

The views expressed in this letter do not necessarily reflect those of Monsey Scoop. Have an opinion you would like to share? Send them in for review to monseyscoop@gmail.com

 

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I agree. Parents at the very least must physically walk their child to the bus entrance. Bus stops should not force children to cross into oncoming traffic or in the middle of the street. Every bus must come equipped with the bar in the front that keeps the child walking in front of the bus at a distance the driver can see him or her

    • Children aren’t dying or getting killed these incidents happen all around the world.

      I would say,
      1) bus drivers shouldn’t be on cell phones,

      2) paid by the hour and not by the trip so no need to rush,

      3) every bus should be equipped with interior and exterior cameras

      3) every bus should have a bus monitor that crosses the child all the way onto the sidewalk

      4) if no one is out to receive the child off the bus at a certain age take the kid back to school and charge the parants for babysitting or stop their transportation for a while

  2. Growing up in Monsey, I remember having bus safety drills every year in the lower elementary grades. Each year in early fall, a bus would sit on the school parking lot, and one class at a time would come out to hear a short bus safety drill. We practiced crossing the street in both directions to get onto the bus safely etc. We were told to always stop before crossing the street for
    Both getting on and off the bus, and make eye contact with the driver before crossing. Why can’t we start this again?

  3. The other major problem is that many of these bus drivers do not have the training in driving these buses and think they are traveling in a regular car, speeding around curbs and have very little sight for safety of the neighborhood and children that they are entrusted within. School administrators need to take more responsibilities to ensure thr safety of our children from the moment they get on the bus to the moment they leave.

  4. Before I give suggestions, we need to remember that it is not what we do or do not do that determines the outcome.

    I have lost two children in ways that one could say were avoidable so obviously have thought about this A LOT.

    Some suggestions may seem too hard. After all busy parents of many children really may find it difficult to adhere to them.

    Some can just become habits and really do not take so much time. Just a conviction and understanding of the importance. To be on the safe side.

    Here are some habits that although may never matter in your particular case, but maybe just maybt they will save YOUR child’s life.

    1. No riding bikes or scooters without a helmet, ever.

    2. No riding in a car without a seat belt, ever.

    3. No swimming without a lifeguard, ever.

    4. No childbirth without a physician and operating room on hand, in case of emergency.

    There are more of course.

    Crossing streets and bus stops, obviously super important, are going to be a lot harder for a lot of parents.

    At what age can a child be outside, or at a bus stop, unsupervised? Teaching children proper street crossing procedures. How old is old enough for an older child to be responsible for a younger one?

    I cannot answer these questions.

    But the simple habits above would have b’derech teva, saved some lives. Each of them so precious. A whole world.

    It’s worth trying.

  5. Not C”V pointing fingers. Its a fact that ALL heimish school bus drivers are always on the phone. Even with headsets its deep conversations, and can’t fully focus. See how goyish schools/companies pickup, they look and make sure 2x. unfortunately we pay with kids lives every year.
    Drivers arrive last minute. No pre-checks. often lights and arms are not fully functional.
    When they were given safety courses, instructors complained that drivers only wanted to sign in and leave.
    Perhaps they dont make enough $$, but that does not justify us to loose kids here and there yearly..

  6. Driving in Monsey everyone sees school busses driving way too fast. I’ve seen them back up into circles or dead end streets to turn around (it’s totally illegal to back up a school bus), cut off drivers to pass, turn without signaling, etc. etc. Not to mention allowing the little boys to stand and look out the back window (girls usually don’t do this). The Town of Ramapo has allowed an incredible amount of multiple dwellings to be built, and the congestion on these narrow roads gets worse every day. Imagine what it will be like when all the new homes in Blueberry Hill are occupied?! It will be a bus driver’s worst nightmare. Hashem Yishmor.

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