By Karen Fisher

For The Hermiston Herald

HERMISTON — At a recent Community Watch meeting, an attendee voiced irritation that school bus drivers keep their red lights flashing far too long, and that they sometimes park in the middle of the street blocking both lanes of traffic.

It's hard to get to work on time when you're behind a slow school bus. Ever had that problem?

Officer Gretchen Erickson invited Cindy Nicholson, the local manager of Mid-Columbia Bus Company — which services Hermiston, Stanfield, and Umatilla school districts — to address the issue at this month's Community Watch meeting.

"Every week at least three drivers run the flashing red lights on our buses. This afternoon there were five incidents," Nicholson explained to a packed room. "That is very scary for the safety of our children. The bus drivers may occasionally block oncoming traffic on certain congested streets to prevent eight-light violators from hitting children."

(For the full story, please see the March 28, 2003, issue of the Hermiston Herald.)

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