NORWICH, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A Norwich bus driver is now being hailed as a hero after she saved one of her students from getting hit by a car. A driver illegally passed the bus while a student was getting off of it.
“If I hadn’t grabbed him, that car would have gotten him instantly. You can see in the video where he steps, the cars tires were there,” said Samantha Call, a bus driver with the Norwich City School District, who saved her student.
Samantha Call said her years of training kicked in that day. Checking her mirrors has become second nature, with so many passing her bus while her red lights are on, and students are trying to get off.
“This year, it’s definitely multiplied. I’m getting passed at least daily,” Call said.
The driver, in this case, can’t be caught even though there are multiple cameras on Samantha’s bus. Here in New York State, you can only be ticketed for passing a bus if an officer sees it first hand.
Out of all the buses in the school district, Samantha’s is the only one that has the stop arm camera sitting right here below the stop sign. And even though it didn’t catch the person passing her in this case, she said in the three years that she’s tried the camera out, its worked.
“I think every bus needs it, and we’ve got to be able to use those cameras, we’ve got to be able to use the video on those cameras,” Call said.
It’s something lawmakers are pushing for right now with a new bill called the “School Bus Camera Safety Act.”
If that passes, drivers like this one could be held accountable.
“You’re putting someone’s life in jeopardy. If I mess up, and a kid gets hurt, I get child endangerment for everybody on my bus. They pass my every day putting children in danger, and they get off with it,” Call said.
Since the incident, Samantha said she has been in contact with the mother of the boy who had a close call that day. She said Matthew’s mom is grateful for her quick actions and hopes this raises awareness about the dangers of passing school buses.