Keep an eye out for school buses!

Published 8:21 am Wednesday, August 12, 2015

As school returns to Escambia County, we urge all motorists to show patience and care when traveling on the same roads as buses.

According to the ALSDE Pupil Transportation Section, the most dangerous part of a school bus ride is when the bus stops to load or unload students. All too often, students are placed in danger by careless or distracted motorists who illegally pass a stopped school bus. In far too many instances, students are injured or killed as a result of these illegal passings.

The following rules are not only important as school starts, but should be adhered to year round:

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• On a two-lane road or street, motorists approaching a school bus from either direction must stop when the bus displays flashing red warning lights and extends the stop signal arm.

• Vehicles may not pass until the flashing red lights are turned off. Drivers traveling in the same direction as the bus are always required to stop.

• On a divided (separate roadways with median) highway of at least four lanes, drivers traveling in the opposite direction of the bus are not required to stop. However, they should proceed with all due caution. Always watching for children.

• Never pass on the right side of a school bus where children enter or exit.

Parents should discuss school bus safety with their children. Here are some safety points for students who ride school buses:

• Arrive at the school bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.

• Stay at least 10-15 feet away from the roadway while waiting on the bus and no horseplay.

• Wait until the bus stops and the driver signals that it is safe to load the bus or cross the street.

• Respect the rights of others while riding the bus. Cooperate with the driver and remain in your seat.

Let’s all use a little common sense and courtesy to ensure that this school year is a productive and safe one.