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'We need to be safe': Mother says close call at bus stop changed daily routine

Posted at 5:00 AM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 07:05:49-04

MCCORDSVILLE — The mother of three children almost hit by a UPS driver last week says she now waits at the bus stop every day.

The driver, William Bullock, of Avon, was charged Thursday with one count of passing a school bus while the arm signal was extended.

Prosecutors filed the charge after the close call was captured on video.

UPS truck passes school bus

Kelley Beal said her daily routine looks different now.

“They’re just a little bit more concerned, a little bit more cautious," Beal said. "So that is beneficial. I just wish it wasn’t in the worst way possible that they gained that knowledge. I think we're just also a little freaked out trying taking baby steps."

It took a week for the charge to be filed. Here's a look at the timeline:

  • Sept. 9: UPS driver drives around school bus
  • Sept. 10: UPS tells WRTV in a statement they are investigating
  • Sept. 14: The McCordsville Police Department tells WRTV they are investigating the incident after getting video from the school bus camera
  • Sept. 16: Prosecutors charge the UPS driver

According to a probable cause affidavit, Bullock told a McCordsville Police Department officer he "lost focus for a second and thought the school bus was pulled over to the right side of the roadway with its hazards on" and apologized to another person "27 times."

"Mr. Bullock did state he passed the stop arm on the school bus," the affidavit read. "Mr. Bullock advised he felt sick from the incident because had been driving for 34 years and he had never done this before."

MORE | Check your child's school bus inspection status

“I’m happy that something was done, you know, I don't think that it's too substantial, but no one was hurt, fortunately. So, it is what it is,” Beal said.

“We take our commitment to safely serving the communities where we live and work very seriously," a statement from UPS read. "We are aware of the incident, and are thankful that everyone is safe. We have taken disciplinary action with this driver. Our drivers are trained to be aware of their surroundings at all times and to be among the safest drivers on the road.”

“I’d appreciate if they got a little bit more personal because this is obviously affected our entire family and it will continue to do so, yeah that would be nice,” Beal said.

Now Beal said they are taking this close call as a life lesson and wants it to be a reminder to other drivers to slow down and watch where they are going.

“We need to be safe, we need to make sure we're looking both ways and looking out for ourselves and, you know, just learning from it,” Beal said.

According to Indiana State Police, when the school bus arm is out you need to stop at the back of the bus.

when to stop for bus_INDOT.png

According to data from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, police agencies in the state have already issued more citations and warnings for bus stop-arm violations so far this year compared to 2020.

stop arm violations.png

Agencies across the state are currently participating in the S.A.V.E., or Stop Arm Violation Enforcement program. Some of the citations and warnings issued during the blitz are included in the data above.

More than 200 law enforcement agencies are participating in the campaign and are working with bus drivers and school transportation officials to determine where patrols are needed the most.

Click here for more school bus safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.