Reader’s Matzav: The Child You Almost Killed Today Could Have Been Yours


school-busDear Editor,

I was driving westbound on 17th Avenue in Boro Park on Erev Shabbos, through the usual morning traffic, mainly caused by the abundance of school buses at that time, when an eastbound bus stopped in front of me to pick up his precious cargo. He stopped the bus, activated the flashing lights and deployed the flip-out stop signs. Since it was alternate-side-parking this morning on that side of the street, there was a long stretch of space to the right of the bus with no cars parked.

I saw a mother and child start walking down their stoop walking towards the bus. What a great day the child must have been looking forward to. A half a day of school, with a Shabbos party to boot.

How flabbergasted was I to see that a car driving behind the bus squeezed himself into the right side of the bus, and slowly inched his way forward on the right side of the bus, savoring the view of all the stop signs and flashing lights before him, then proceeding to pass the bus, ON THE RIGHT SIDE, narrowly missing the unwary mother and child.

The street was clogged with cars in both directions. Many of the drivers, including myself, were in a hurry to get to our destinations. We accept the morning traffic as a reality we have to contend with. Nevertheless, we all froze in our places when we saw the bus stop and announce to the world that it was in the process of its noble mission of ferrying precious children to school.

I my lifetime I have seen cars pass buses on the left side from time to time. Perhaps a little cautiously and perhaps they were engrossed in their driving along and didn’t notice the bus. That is bad enough. But this guy deliberately proceeded to squeeze his way into the right lane created by a row of vacant parking spaces, took note of the myriad flashing lights around him, and proceeded with malice to recklessly endanger the life of innocents. People go to jail for such things.

Witnessing this scene I lost it, and swung my car into the oncoming lane and blocked the way of this would-be assassin and gave him a piece of my mind. His only reaction was to show contempt for my gall in delaying him from getting to his destination. After all, the whole world does revolve around him.

As he squirmed himself past my roadblock like a rat scurrying into a hole, I managed to snap a picture of the rear of his car. If this message ever does get to him, I only hope that the little drama from this morning will evoke in him a small dose of common decency. If that happens, this all would have been worth it.

By the way, a shout out to all my fellow commuters who cheered me on that morning. It appears that decent people are still the majority in our society.

Out There


  1. if you look into it you will see that only the litvishe lady drivers do it
    either because they feel that they own the road or the way they drive, they probably dont even realize it

  2. I agree with this story up until the part where you “gave him a piece of your mind.” Although this driver was way out of line, bothering him and perhaps yelling at him is not going to fix the problem and if this person perhaps had a real emergency (and we are supposed to be dan l’kaf zechus), you delayed him further.

  3. there is a pic of the plates,on a black tinted window car,with plates from comfort auto.not to likely to be a litvishe lady.more like a wannabe!!!

  4. dear comment #2. Maybe we should be dan l’kaf z’chus Hitler and Stalin. They saw so much poverty in the world and felt there would be more food for the rest of those living. Why and Why? do people have to come up with such stupidity as excusing people for their terrible acts as passing a school bus, etc. Who says, his running to an emergency gives him the right to knock down a women and a few children. Leave a story for what it is without showing this ridiculous erlichkeit, where it is not warranted.

  5. Roiza Blimy – I think you are wrong. Whenever I am in Brooklyn it is the young chasidasha men who go through red lights and honk and drive like maniacs

  6. What kind of an emergency does he have to go to in to justify maybe killing the child and mother, yes, she is right in yelling at him, maybe it will save a life next time. What kind of an idiot wrote that it must be a litvish lady who was driving.

  7. #2 You are out of your mind. No emergency in the world warrants passing a schoolbus, where children are in the street. That itself is the greatest emergency, you idiot.

    As for #1, I take great issue with that. Where I live in Lakewood, it is the Chassidishe men that learned how to drive in Boro Park, and imported it to Lakewood.

  8. This driver is a vehicular homicide waiting to happen. Even if he has no concern for others, he should realize what would happen to his own family if he went to jail (preferably for a long time.)

    It also shows the consequences of the contempt for civil law that is getting to be so common among some in our circles, the idea that because it’s “their” law that we can break it freely. The traffic laws are dina d’malchusa dina, and they are there because there are good common-sense reasons for their existence – like keeping innocent people alive. If that doesn’t help people understand, then think about the status of the unintentional homicide in Torah law – confined to an ir hamiklat until the Kohen Gadol is niftar. However, in a case like this it wouldn’t be b’shogeig, it would be out of deliberate negligence, callous disregard for the life of one’s fellow human being.

  9. I one time did such a thing when there were NO children NEAR the bus. My wife had to be rushed to the hospital and it was a life threatening situation. I honked the horn before I proceded and even got out of my car and begged the driver to go around the corner because I have a life and death situation.

    If you would have done to me what you just detailed in your article I would have smashed your car and keep on going and let the insurance company take care of the rest.

    If it’s my wife on the line or your stupid atitude and the drivers that just pull out that stop sign when NOT picking up children , ai mvery sorry but I would do it all over again.

    (I pulled on the left side and went very slow when I passes the bus)

    As for people that pass a bus with the stop sign out and have no real medical emergancy, these people should immediately have their license suspended for a month.

  10. #1 & #7 What are you talking about the only people that do this is modern women wearing tichels! Or slonimer chassidim with the payos BEHIND the ears. You obviously don’t pay close attention when people illegally pass buses.

  11. I am proud of this driver for his standing up for what is right against what is ILLEGAL, dangerous, and self-centered.

    I would love to be dan l’chaf zechus as well, but the writer is clearly making a distinction between passing on the left and on the right. Both are illegal, but on the right is m’shat nefesh. It is THE most reckless choice.

    It is also hard for me to understand why someone would come out and label one group AND gender as more prone to do this. This is sinas chinam plain and simple. We all have a yetzer hora and we all have to contend with it.

    We could digress to a discussion into the middos we use behind the wheel and those we use at home or with our chaveirim. I would venture to say there would be some sort of gap, sometimes small and sometimes rather vast.

    Your thoughts?

  12. For all those Tzadikim who were trying to be her Dan Lkaf Zchus

    I actually caught up with that lady driver and asked her why she did it?

    Her response was:
    Sorry i didnt even realize that it was a school bus because i was concentrating on saying PEREK SHIRA by heart cause I accidently left my booklet at home and i was late to a shiur!?!?

  13. #1, pure sinas chinum….or is it ignorance?! Roiza Blimy, mamala, you have so much to learn!!!!
    #2, you are completely and unequivocally wrong! NO emergency (????) on the part of the driver to the right of the bus justifies taking a chance with the lives of a mother and child (or anyone else, for that matter) unaware of such a careless driver.

    #6,#9,#12,You couldn’t have said it any better!!!

  14. To #1 and #14. To #1 You are a total idiot and a Jew hating person. Why do you have to say such a nasty remark about a fellow yid? To #14 if you are trying to say something nasty and trying to make believe that you are the same person as comment #1, than why can’t you remember how you spell your name? You are similar to blogger #1 as to the fact that both of you are hateful people. Grow up and try to learn to have Ahavas Yisroel, maybe this way you can start to become a better person.

  15. the letter writer clearly says HE about the person who passed.

    Besides, even if she was x y or z, what does that have to do with all the people of the same gender and sect??

    Assuming you’re chasidish,do you love hotdogs with peanut butter on them just because my chasidish neighbor does?

  16. Every day the children on M.L.King Dr. in Lakewood risk their lives to catch the bus because the yids think that the stop sign on the bus doesn’t mean they have to stop.What is it going to take for people to respect the traffic laws?WE LOVE OUR KIDS TOO!So durning school hour leave home alittle early if you are in a rush,and SLOW DOWN you could save a life and spare some family alot of pain.

  17. The Torah teaches the need to be considerate. This universal aspect of our Torah applies regardless of religion, race or creed.

    It is surely even more compelling Erev Shabbat as we get ready for the sacred day of rest. In spite of our eagerness to meet
    the holy deadline, while driving we ought to be on our best behavior. (Barukh Hashem, nobody was harmed in the incident described above.)
    It is therefore imperative to pay attention to the road and traffic signs in order to reach our destination safely.

    This principle applies even more so when a school bus stops in front of us. Adherence to traffic regulations can save lives. Derekh Eretz kawd-mah la-Torah.

    Thus, we should endeavor to drive
    courteously and carefully. It’s a mitzvah.
    Dr. Arnold Berger