Desperate Mom Begs Drivers Not to Honk at Her Daughter's Bus

drivers honking at school bus

In my neighborhood, our school bus frequently has to honk at drivers who obliviously zoom past on the opposite side of the street despite the bus’s flashing lights and sign that requires oncoming drivers to stop. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed drivers honking at the bus, though, which is probably because we don’t have a ton of traffic in our small town. In busier Brooklyn, however, plenty of motorists have a habit of laying on the horn when buses slow their commute times, and one mom is doing her best to educate drivers to be more thoughtful.

Christine Salerno is planning to personally hand out self-made flyers to drivers to let them know that when they angrily honk at the bus, they negatively affect her 3-year-old daughter, who has a neurodevelopmental disorder called Rett syndrome. I completely sympathize with this mom ... but I also think she’s fighting a seriously uphill battle. 

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Salerno’s daughter Lily is sensitive to loud noises as a result of her disorder, and she gets anxiety attacks in the mornings when drivers honk at her preschool bus. According to Salerno,

She starts grabbing on the bus and doesn’t want to get on it. It’s a horrible way to leave my child every morning.

The family moved to the Ditmas Park neighborhood a month ago so Lily would have a shorter commute to her school, which caters to children with special needs. Salerno says the change has been positive overall, except for the honking drivers. To try and take a direct approach with the horn-leaners, Salerno has created a flyer which she says she’ll be personally handing to drivers. It reads, “Think before you honk,” and here’s the rest of her message:

“We’ll see how it goes,” Salerno says. “Hopefully, I won’t get punched.”

I really feel for her, and for her little girl. I think her sign is well-written, although I think it might be improved a bit by specifically calling out why the honking is so upsetting (IE, explaining that it causes anxiety), and maybe some drivers will even take this message to heart and think twice before honking next time.

But I guess I also think the sort of person that honks at a school bus is probably ... well, an asshole. I think if being delayed for a few seconds by a bus loading up little kids makes someone blast their horn out of frustration, knowing that it bothers one of those kids isn’t likely to change their behavior.

So I’m hoping the best for this mom, but I also hope she finds some other solutions that make things less tough for Lily. Earmuffs, maybe, or headphones that play soft music.

Do you think this mom is justified in asking drivers not to honk at the bus? And do you think drivers will respond well to her signs?


Image via juliettecezzar/Flickr, Christine Salerno

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