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School Safety: Backpacks, bikes and buses, Part II

Jayne Matthews Hopson | 9/5/2014, 8:36 a.m.
The safest way for students to use their bikes is for transportation, not play. While this advice may surprise you, ...

The reality of school bus safety is that more children are hurt outside the bus than inside as passengers. Most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related crashes are pedestrians, four to seven years old hit by the bus or by motorists illegally passing a stopped school bus. For this reason, it is necessary to know the proper laws and procedures for sharing the road safely with school buses.

All 50 states have a law making it illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. Traffic in both directions is required to stop. School buses use yellow flashing lights to alert motorists that they are preparing to stop to load or unload children. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign arm signals to motorists that the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off the bus.

Be alert! Children are unpredictable. Students walking to or from their bus are usually very comfortable with their surroundings. This makes them more likely to take risks, ignore hazards or fail to look both ways when crossing the street. Never pass a school bus on the right.”

Jayne Matthews Hopson writes about education matters because “only the educated are free.”