Empty school bus left running while its alarm goes off in south St. Louis

Data pix.

ST. LOUIS – Most people know the feeling: a car alarm going off in the neighborhood; perhaps their car or a neighbor’s vehicle. On and on it goes until someone finds the right set of keys to make it stop. It can be maddening.

In this case, it’s an empty school bus, left running, parked near the busy intersection of Gravois and Chippewa.

A viewer shared videos of the bus on the Fox 2 Now Facebook page. You can see the bus is empty with students and no driver.

“We came home and the bus was parked right here in front of the house and the alarm was going off…we just went in the house. It went off for a while and then all of a sudden it stopped,” said resident Joyce Sanchez.

That was Thursday afternoon.

It sometimes happened in the morning, too, she said.

“My son works evenings. He doesn’t crash until about 5 in the morning,” said Joyce’s husband, Steve Sanchez. “He gets up at 1:00 (in the afternoon) to go to work. It bothers him. He complains about it, you know, all the honking and stuff.”

Residents have had to put up with all that "honking and stuff" repeatedly, though not daily, for the past few months. They presume the driver leaves the bus to buy coffee or use the restroom at nearby QT convenience store.

First Student provides bus service for St. Louis Public Schools. Residents certainly understand a driver grabbing a coffee or using the restroom at QT when there are no kids on the bus but they say this is not the way to go about it. It’s not just the nuisance of the alarm. Parking on the street with the bus still running has them concerned about someone stealing a bus or the resulting lack of visibility with the bus parked on the street near such a busy intersection leading to an accident.

Fox 2 News shared those concerns and the video with First Student. A spokesman responded saying the matter was under investigation and “we are working with the driver.”

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