Follow these bus safety tips this school year
Published 10:00 am Thursday, August 27, 2015
Students, parents, citizens, it’s that time of year again when big yellow buses will be out and about on the roadways of Michigan and Indiana. School has already begun in many Indiana schools in our area. Michigan schools will start after the Labor Day weekend. Across the state, my counter-parts and I have been training bus drivers on safety issues concerning students and buses.
Many schools will have a presentation for their students on bus etiquette and laws they need to know and follow. Parents please assist your child’s school by reading the paperwork that will be coming home with your child concerning this and help with enforcing manners and safety on the bus. Pick up and drop off information will also be in this paperwork. Please have patience as some schools have changed their entry and exits for the parent cars. Realize that in the morning and afternoon, everyone is there with the same mission; to pick up or drop off. I have been to many schools in the past year and there have been many issues, included physical threats and assaults between parents because a parent “cut in front of” other parents who have been waiting in line. This is not a good example for the children.
I had a conversation with a parent who stated that I didn’t understand that he was just dropping off his child. I stated that the other fifteen cars in line were doing the same thing. He again stated that his child was just going to get out and he was going to drive away. I explained that was the mission for the other fifteen cars waiting in line. Do not drop your children off in the middle of the parking lot so they have to cross in front of vehicles are parked or waiting.
MVC 257.682, Stopping for school bus displaying flashing red lights, states:
(1) The driver of a vehicle overtaking or meeting a school bus which has stopped and is displaying two alternately flashing red lights located at the same level shall bring the vehicle to a full stop not less than 20 feet from the school bus and shall not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the visual signals are no longer actuated. The driver of a vehicle who fails to stop for a school bus as required by this subsection, who passes a school bus in violation of this subsection, or who fails to stop for a school bus in violation of an ordinance that complies with this subsection, is responsible for a civil infraction.
(2) The driver of a vehicle upon a highway which has been divided into two roadways by leaving an intervening space, or by a physical barrier, or clearly indicated dividing sections so constructed as to impede vehicular traffic, need not stop upon meeting a school bus which has stopped across the dividing space, barrier, or section… In addition to the civil fine and costs provided for a civil infraction under section 907, the judge, district court referee, or district court magistrate may order a person who violates this section to perform not to exceed 100 hours of community service at a school.
Parents should talk to their children about the School Bus Danger Zones that extend ten feet from the bus in all directions. When leaving the bus, children should walk ten feet away from the bus before turning. Children crossing in front of the bus should move forward away from the bus until they can make eye contact with the driver. They should never cross in front of the bus without the driver’s permission.
Additional safety tips for parents to share with your children:
• Have a safe place to wait for the bus, away from traffic and the street.
• Do not run or play while waiting for the bus.
• Make sure to always remain in clear view of the bus driver. Never go behind the bus.
• Stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals you to enter.
• Walk to the bus stop with a buddy.
• Mind all traffic signals and/or the crossing guard. Never cross the street against a light, even if you don’t see traffic coming.
• Do not talk to strangers. Tell your parents if a stranger tries to talk to you.
• Never leave with a stranger or get into a stranger’s vehicle.
With the increase of school bus traffic, motorists are reminded to pay attention to school bus lights and observe the school bus stop law. When approaching a school bus with its lights activated, motorists should always:
• Prepare to stop when a slowing bus has its overhead yellow lights flashing.
• Come to a complete stop at least 20 feet away from the bus when its overhead red lights are flashing. Do not proceed until the bus resumes motion and/or you are signaled to do so by the bus driver.
• Proceed with caution when the hazard warning lights, located near the headlights, are flashing.
Let’s do our part to make this a safe and enjoyable school year.
Any questions or comments please email me at TrooperRob53@yahoo.com or call (269) 683-4411.