On Tuesday morning a 24-year-old women ran a stopped school bus who had its stop sign out and lights on. The women hit four children, killing three, in Fulton County, Indiana. The children, two twin 6-year-old boys and their 9-year-old sister will never laugh, play, cry, smile, grow, or experience any piece of life again because someone decided to blow past a stopped school bus. I know people would like to think this is a totally random, freak occurrence that usually never happens, but truth is, people neglect to stop for buses weekly.

My dad has been a Lincolnview bus driver for over 15 years. I’ve listened to all of his horror stories. Last year he had a lady who chronically blew his stop lights and was eventually caught. I’m friends with many of the drivers at Lincolnview and his story is echoed through them all. From what I’ve gathered, it’s literally a weekly occurrence for someone to ignore a stopped bus and blow past it.

While these people may believe they are saving a few extra seconds by not having to be bothered to stop, they must have little care or regard for what their actions may cause.

I don’t know Alyssa Shepherd, the 24-year-old who killed three children, and I’m sure her intent wasn’t to kill anyone. However, because of her actions and negligence, a mom and a dad lost half of their family. There’s really no good excuse for why this happened and yes, it is 100-percent her fault (not the fault of the school for having kids cross the road like I’ve heard some say).

What many people fail realize is how much power they have behind the wheel. Cars are dangerous when not used properly and many, because they drive so often, forget just how dangerous they can be.

The day before a I left for Portland in August I was driving home on 224 when a red SUV veered off into my lane. Had I not been paying attention and had quick reflexes, I would have been in a head-on collision going 55 miles per hour. Instead, I swerved into the ditch and was able to make my way out. The other person kept on driving.

If you’ve ever experienced something like that then you know how your entire body gets goosebumps and feels weak after muscles relax. Once I calmed down, I was irate that someone had almost just killed me (and right before my vacation!). I severely wish I would have followed the red SUV and asked them what was so important that it was worth more than my life.

The lack of attention some drivers give while driving is appalling. There is very little room for mistakes or errors behind a wheel because just one accident is enough to end a life.

I can’t imagine the regret Shepherd feels knowing that if she had done things differently, three little children would still be alive. I know I for one never want to feel that, which is why I’m never in a hurry to get places, I always wear my seat belt, and I don’t drive distracted. I’ve made a habit of placing my phone in my backpack so I’m not even tempted to look at it because it’s not worth the risk. It’s one thing if I only killed myself, but killing others is not a gamble I ever want to take.

I’m not surprised that Tuesday’s accident happened because people run stopped buses all the time. If you don’t believe me, ask any of the county school bus drivers; they will all be able to tell you stories that make you cringe.

If you run stopped buses, shame on you. If you see someone who runs a stopped bus, write down the license plate number and report it. This is unacceptable and it is dangerous. The most vulnerable of the human race are often on these buses and it’s our job to protect them while they are trying to get to school.