Johnny Lee is a Loris High School bus driver and has been for many years.
He addressed Loris City Council recently to talk about some of the driving habits of motorists that he is fearful will lead to injuries or deaths of students if something is not done to stop the problem.
“I am here on behalf of all the bus drivers at Loris High School. We have got a serious problem. I drive a bus up and down Main Street every day. Today was a good day because I only had five people to pass my bus while I was loading and unloading kids,” Lee said. “I beg y’all to get the police to help us.”
Lee said he makes six stops on Main Street each morning and afternoon and other stops in nearby areas.
He said he feels the Loris Police Department needs to improve the traffic enforcement while school buses are on the roads.
“Let’s become known as a place where if you pass a stopped school bus, you will get a ticket,” Lee said. “The fine is over $1,100 and six points off of your license. A vehicle is never supposed to pass a school bus stop sign. I beg y’all to give us some help before a child gets killed.”
Loris Police Chief Gary Buley said he has been “sending people out” in the mornings and afternoons to look for violators.
“We are addressing this major issue,” Buley said which caused Lee to invite him to “come ride my bus one day.”
The day after Lee addressed council, a message was posted on the Loris Police Department Facebook page.
“Let's be cautious when it comes to the children going and coming from school. Passing a school bus when lights are flashing can change someone’s life forever. Loris Police Department will fine or arrest anyone who passes a school bus unlawfully,” the message states. “So remember it's not worth the risk to a child's life.”