Lakewood Police investigating school bus that nearly struck a child
Lakewood Police are investigating a school bus from the Talmud Torah Toras Yisroel School in the township that nearly hit a 7-year old boy after letting it off last week on Chestnut Avenue as seen in a video that has since surfaced on social media.
A video was posted on social media by Jewish Breaking News that features a time stamp up top of February 14 at 4:17 pm and takes place on a street unknown at this time.
The bus did not activate the flashing red stop lights and safety arm as is required by law, nor did it activate its front bumper crossing control arm.
The little boy gets off the bus as seen in the video but as he attempts to walk across the street the bus starts moving and instantly stops before continuing onward after seeing the child wasn't in front any longer.
After the bus passes, the boy runs across the street to the home where the video was taken.
"Our traffic and safety unit is looking into this now and will be reaching out to the school and driver and will handle it," Lakewood Police Chief Gregory Meyer tells WOBM News.
Lakewood Police Captain Gregory Staffordsmith added that there may have been something off mechanically with the bus.
"It appears that the bus did not have functioning safety equipment, specifically a safety arm, designed to prevent potential tragedies caused by an obstructed view," Staffordsmith said.
Officer Alexander Guzman, who responded to the scene, after identifying the neighborhood in the video went to the 7 year old student's home off Chestnut Street.
Upon speaking with the child's father, he confirmed that the event was not reported to polcie because, "he wished to address the matter through the school identified as Toras Yisroel in Lakewood."
Officer Guzman is continuing his investigation and has met with school officials who are cooperating with law enforcement.
Lakewood Police say the bus has been taken out of service until all mandated repairs have been made.
Meanwhile, charges against the operator of the bus are pending at this time.
A spokesman who answered the phone at the Talmud Torah Toras Yisroel School this morning and confirmed the bus belonged to them to WOBM News and said, "we saw the video and we are handling it," but they did not provide any further comment.
The school bus safety law in New Jersey requires drivers to abide by specific rules in order to keep everyone safe.
1) On a two-lane highway, or other road not divided by some type of physical barrier, stop at least 25 feet from a stopped school bus with flashing red lights whether or not you are traveling in the same direction as the bus.
2) Stop at least 25 feet from a stopped school bus with flashing red lights if you are on a divided highway and on the same side of the highway as the school bus.Remain stopped until all students are safely on the bus or on the side of the highway, and until the bus’s flashing red lights have been turned off.
3) Vehicles approaching a stopped school bus – but from the opposite side of a divided highway – that is picking up or letting off students may pass at 10 mph or less and must remain at that speed until completely past the stopped school bus.
4) Travel no faster than 10 mph by a stopped school bus that is picking up or letting off students directly at a school (or day camp or any school-related activity) located on the same side of the highway where the school bus is stopped.
5) School bus drivers are required to use flashing red lights when their bus is stopped to pick up or drop off students, and until every student is safely on the bus or clear of the bus and highway.
Dan Alexander contributed to this report.
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