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What Are Some Tips for Driving Safely Around School Buses?

The summer is coming to an end, which also signals the beginning of the school year for many children. A common way for many of the children who attend school to get to school is to ride the school bus. Therefore, with the beginning of the school year, there will also be an increase of school buses on the roadways transporting children to and from school. Because of this, it is important that drivers are cognizant of the school buses and how to drive safely around them.

School buses are one of the safest forms of transportation to get children to and from school. Every year buses travel many miles in various weather conditions transporting children not only to and from school, but also to sports and other events. Contributing to the safety of school buses, the buses have safety features that are designed to prevent roll overs, be able to handle a good amount of impact and to cushion passengers.

Drivers should be aware of the buses and pay attention to them. When a bus has its flashing warning red lights on drivers, drivers on the street or highway 20 feet or more away from any school bus are required to stop. All lanes of traffic must stop for the school bus, except in opposing lanes if the highway has a center median. Additionally, no vehicles should move until the bus resumes movement and the red flashing lights have been turned off. Many buses come equipped with a stop arm on the bus that comes out when the bus is stopped with its flashing red lights on as an extra communication to drivers to stop for the bus, but even if the stop arm of the bus is not in use, but flashing red lights are on, the bus should not be passed.

Vehicles that illegally pass school buses can be cited. A law enforcement or police officer need not witness the vehicle illegally pass the bus for a driver to be cited, as the school bus driver can report it to law enforcement within 24 hours.

The risks of hitting a child are too great to be passing school buses. Therefore, drivers should exercise caution when they see school buses on the road and ensure that they are paying the utmost attention to the roadway. By doing so, drivers can help keep children safe.


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