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The original item was published from 9/30/2020 2:42:59 PM to 11/20/2020 12:00:03 AM.

News Flash

Newton Police Department

Posted on: October 19, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Children and Motorists Need to Be Especially Careful Around the School Bus Danger Zone

A national survey conducted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services that tracks the illegal passing of school buses found that in 2019, more than 95,000 motorists ran school bus stop arms in one day. In the ninth annual survey, over 27% of school bus drivers in 39 states participated, with 130,963 school bus drivers reporting that 95,319 vehicles passed their buses illegally on a single day earlier this year. According to NASDPTS, throughout a 180-day school year, these sample results point to more than 17 million violations among America’s motoring public. The number of incidents is likely far greater, since not all school bus drivers participated in the voluntary survey.

The school bus provides the safest form of transportation for students being transported to and from school, but when entering or exiting these vehicles, children become pedestrians who must safely navigate the school bus danger zones. School bus danger zones are areas 10 feet in front, behind, and on each side of the school bus.

Safety tips for students and parents when in and around school bus danger zones:

  • Stand at least 6 feet (giant steps) from the approaching school bus while waiting at the bus stop.
  • Wait to board the bus until the driver says it is safe.
  • When getting off the bus, walk in front of the bus and make sure the driver sees you and lets you know it is safe to cross.
  • Always watch for oncoming traffic when approaching or leaving the bus.

How motorists can keep kids safe around the school bus:

  • When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
  • Slow down. Look for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in neighborhood.
  • Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state. Learn the “?ashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
  • Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
  • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop ?ashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.

Visit www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/pedestrian-safety to learn more tips and to get information about pedestrian safety.

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