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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Most drivers have probably experienced being blinded by the sun.
At this time of year, depending on the time of day and the topography, the sun rising in the east or setting in the west can be aligned with east/west roadways and can cause dangerous situations for school buses, said William C. Yingst Jr. at the Colfax Board of Education’s September 21 meeting.
One day recently, on state Highway 64, one of the Colfax school buses was stopped to pick up students, the flashing stop arm sign was out — and a car came out of nowhere at 55 or 60 miles per hour and blew past the bus, he said.
Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident.
All of the Colfax buses are equipped with camera systems. The camera system on this particular bus was factory installed, and it is always a process to get the cameras adjusted so they focus properly on the roadway and the vehicles around the buses, Yingst said.
The camera on the bus in question was not adjusted to the point where it was able to pick up the vehicle license plate number, so it was not possible to contact the driver, he said.
“This goes on all too often,” Yingst said.
In the interests of keeping students, bus drivers and the drivers of vehicles safe, Yingst said he is urging all drivers to pay particular attention when the sun is at a certain angle over the east/west roadways this time of year.
Drivers should also exercise caution during the times when buses are picking up students in the morning or dropping them off in the afternoon if it is foggy, raining or snowing.