It won’t be long before the sun is dipping into the horizon a little sooner each evening. The first few days of milder weather tend to creep in, reminding us that the autumn season is getting closer. While one could argue that these signs begin to signify the end of summer, nothing reminds us that the summer has drawn to an end quite like the presence of backpack-wearing children at bus stops and school buses packed with happy children returning to school.
The following are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure that children are safe and secure both at their stops and on the school bus:
-Maintain the speed limit in all designated school zones. Remember that many schools have students who must make a short walk from the bus, or even cross the street, to get to the school’s front door. Following the school zone speed limit ensures that they, and you, can react if necessary.
-Be Alert. For many children getting on or off a school bus, it’s a time that can be very unnerving. After all, they’re crossing a very busy street by themselves. While school bus drivers do their best to guide students safely across the roadway, we drivers must do our part to make sure everyone is safe.
-Pay attention to the lights and stop signs. The flashing red lights and stop sign that extend from the drivers’ side of the bus are meant for drivers on both sides of an undivided highway. Remember that passing a bus in this manner isn’t only unsafe, it’s illegal, and many buses are equipped with cameras to catch unsafe drivers passing buses while they’re loading/unloading.
-Don’t follow too closely. Just a reminder that school buses stop at railroad crossings to make sure that a train isn’t approaching. Also, it isn’t out of the ordinary for a bus to make over 20 stops on its way to or from the school building. Allowing extra reaction time for yourself by maintaining plenty of space between you and the bus could be the difference between a close call and an accident that endangers your safety and those on the bus.