SFUSD pleads for drivers to obey traffic laws after car hits school bus, flees scene

Lyanne Melendez Image
Thursday, November 17, 2022
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San Francisco Unified School District pleads for drivers to obey traffic laws after a car hits a school bus and flees the scene.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A school bus in San Francisco was hit by a reckless driver who fled the scene. There were 30 students getting on the bus. The incident happened earlier this month and has rocked the school district.

On Nov. 3, students of Alvarado Elementary in San Francisco were getting on the school bus at 26th Street and South Van Ness Avenue.

Arcadio Fokin, the executive director of transportation for San Francisco Unified, takes it from there.

"The stop arm was out on the bus, the lights were flashing -- which under California vehicle code means you must stop and not move. There were 30 students aboard and someone just blew the stop sign and hit the stop arm and the side of the bus," Fokin said.

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Fortunately, none of the kids were crossing the street at that moment.

ABC7 News witnessed how many drivers never stop, despite all the signals. This driver even rolled through the stop sign at the end of the street.

There were more.

"And here we have a car with the stop arm passing us which is illegal," said Fokin in the middle of his interview with ABC7. The driver also uttered the f-word as he passed us.

"Passing a school bus when the lights are on can result in a citation that cost up to $1,000 in California. It could also result in death or injury of a child," said Tom Maguire of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

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In the Nov. 3 incident, the cameras on the outside of the bus caught the moment of the hit-and-run.

"We did see a vehicle pull up at a lower angle, stop when it hit the sign, and actually back away from the bus and turn around behind the bus and leave the scene," said Marc Lopez of Zum Transportation.

The driver of the school bus was also able to report the license plate. But so far, no one has been detained.

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The SFMTA is working to improve the city's safety record by changing the speed limit on 35 streets in San Francisco. By the middle of next year, they'll go from 25 to 20 miles an hour.

In the meantime, the school district is making a plea to all drivers.

"We just need people to obey and help us by stopping when they see a stop arm and the light flashing on the school bus," Fokin said.

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