Bus Driver Quits After Controversial Ticket

Written by on November 16, 2018

During his route on a normal morning recently, former Fort Madison School District bus driver Pat Hollister made a decision he thought was the right one.

Trying to prevent a car behind him from passing his bus and possibly endangering children, Hollister moved the tires of his bus even with the dividing line and opened his window to shake his finger at the passing driver in an attempt to get the driver to notice the bus.

“I didn’t veer into the lane, I didn’t block the lane, I’m just crowing the lane trying to get this car’s attention,” Hollister said.

Hollister said that not only did the car go past the bus, but a semi-truck behind the car also passed after realizing it was too late to stop.

This is not the first time an event like this has occurred, according to Hollister.

“Three, four, sometimes five days a week, multiple times a day, I have people running my yellow and, or, red light,” Hollister said.

“I have several spots on my route because my route is primarily Business 61 and Highway 61 north of Fort Madison. On the four lane, people have that opportunity to get into that left lane and they think it’s okay that if they hurry and get by the bus when the yellow lights are still flashing, it’s okay. The problem being they don’t know when I’m gonna stop.”

Local authorities were contacted and after reviewing the tape of the incident from the bus, both of the passing vehicles were issued tickets, but so was Hollister for crowding the left lane in the amount of $195.

Hollister said he plans to fight the ticket in court and his hoping the court will be able to help him out.

He also said that after attempting to get police to station an officer along his route to take action against the drivers who pass the bus in an attempt to stop them, receiving the ticket was the final straw for him and he quit his job.

“I have pleaded with the Lee County Sheriff’s Department. I have pleaded with the Iowa State Patrol face to face when the officers have come into the office to look at other videos,” Hollister said.

“My thoughts are if the general public sees law enforcement out there pulling cars over, the problem, you’re never going to eliminate it totally, but I think the problem would be severely reduced.”

For Hollister, the most important thing is not the ticket; he wants people to understand that it is about the kids.

Hollister said there is a chance a child’s hat or something along those lines could blow out into the highway and those cars passing the bus would be putting the child in danger.

“They see the bus with its lights on, ‘oh, it’s going to stop,’ but they don’t think about that car or truck that’s coming around the bus. The next thing you know, they run out in the highway to retrieve their things and there’s your tragedy,” Hollister said. 

This is still a developing story and as of Friday the Fort Madison Community School District did not have an official comment on the situation.

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