A Better Region 8: School bus safety

On my way to work Monday morning, there were two instances where I had to stop for a school bus so kids could safely get on to start their first day of school.

I must admit that getting back into the practice of watching for school buses caught me by surprise even though we've done stories on it.

I'm happy to say the traffic around me stopped both times, but that's not always the case.

An email sent to Region 8 News by Craighead County E-911 Director Jeff Presley, outlines a one-day survey conducted last year among Arkansas school bus drivers. The survey asked bus drivers from 100 school districts to record the amount of times they saw a motorist illegally passing their bus. They counted more than 700 instances.

If you're driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing.

It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you're on an undivided road – or if it is stopped to load or unload children.

If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop.

The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.

Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks.

And just as important…don't drive distracted….put your phones away.

Safe travels everyone and welcome back to school kids.  Taking the time to stop for school buses is the law, it keeps kids safe and it makes this A Better Region 8.

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