Attention drivers…school buses are back on the road! Now is a good time to review laws and safety tips regarding school buses and students. Did you know that school buses are one of the safest forms of transportation? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, riding a school bus is 13 times safer than riding in a car and 10 times safer than walking to school. Let’s work to keep it that way!
Share the road with school buses:
- It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. Traffic is required to stop in both directions when the bus has red lights flashing. Yellow flashing lights are used to warn drivers to prepare to stop. State laws will vary for divided roadways, however in all cases traffic traveling in the same direction behind the school bus must stop.
- The area 10 feet around a school bus is where students are in the most danger of being hit. Stop your vehicle far enough away from the bus to allow students to enter and exit safely. This will provide a good vantage point to ensure safety.
- Always expect the unexpected! Be alert!
Share the road with students and pedestrians:
- As a driver you are obligated to exercise extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians. Although pedestrians usually have the right of way at intersections, you should always prepare and be alert that someone, or a child, will enter your traffic lane unexpectedly.
- Obey all warning lights and speed zones.
- Don’t block crosswalks when stopped or waiting to turn.
- Remember there are also students on bicycles. The most common collision happens when the driver turns left in front of an oncoming bicyclist or turns right across the path of the bicycle rider. Maintain at least 3 feet clearance and always use turn signals. Check your mirrors before changing lanes or opening your door.
- Look out for the inexperienced driver.