Wednesday, 3 September, 2014
school bus

It’s that time of the year again: Take it slow around school buses

It’s that time of the year again when children climb aboard the school bus and head back to classes. That means lots of yellow school buses will be on the move with more children crossing streets.

The first weeks of school are an exciting time for children. They’re eager to see their friends again — so eager they often forget about staying safe while crossing the street. They might not look both ways, resulting in a tragedy that can break a mother’s heart.

Did you know more children are killed each year getting off the school bus than while actually riding on the bus? That’s why it is a good time for drivers to bone up on back-to-school road safety tips.

Laws in all 50 states demand drivers come to a stop when children are getting on or off a school bus, and that includes passing a stopped school bus. Scofflaws can expect hefty fines for violating those rules.

Stop your car far enough from the bus to allow children to get on or off the bus without having to squeeze between stopped vehicles. Maintain a 10-foot distance around a school bus — that’s the zone in which children are most likely to be injured by a motorist.

Slow down and obey the speed limits. School zones have a reduced speed limit during school hours. Although it’s tempting to exceed the 20 mph speed limit near school crossings, most states levy a hefty fine for violators.

Children are unpredictable and may dart out into traffic with little warning. The only way to prevent a tragedy is to keep your speed under control and within the limits. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for children walking in the street, especially when there are no sidewalks!