School buses are the safest form of highway transportation according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Our main concern is always safety,” said Lecia Stubblefield, Director of Transportation. “We maintain our buses to a superior condition and our drivers are trained regularly in safety.”
The New Albany School District needs the help of everyone in the community to exercise constant courtesy and caution when they are near school buses, loading and unloading areas, and school zones.
Motorists are encouraged to be aware that school is back in session, to use extreme caution during school hours, and remember these basic school bus safety tips.
- Be aware of flashing orange and red lights. Flashing lights signal that students are about to board or unload the bus.
- When a school bus is stopped on a four-lane highway that is not divided, ALL lanes of traffic must stop while the stop arm on a bus is extended.
- Never pass a stopped school bus with its stop arm extended and red lights flashing. It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus. Fines may range from $350 to $750.
- Obey speed limits and slow down when driving in school zones.
- Watch for students who may be walking to school or to school bus stops.
- Pay attention to school bus traffic.
There are also several safety reminders for students who use school bus transportation. Parents are encouraged to discuss these safety rules with their children:
- Students should arrive at their school bus stop early and wait in a safe place away from the street.
- Always stay in the sight of the driver.
- Before boarding the bus, students should make sure the bus is stopped and the safety lights are flashing. Students should wait for the bus driver to motion for them to board.
- Always walk in front of the bus and never behind it.
- Be alert to traffic before getting on and off the bus. Look both ways before crossing the street.
- While riding on the bus, stay seated and quiet so as not to distract the driver
“We continue to stress the importance of bus safety on multi-lane highways and to remind motorists that all lanes of traffic are required to stop when a bus is loading or unloading on an undivided highway,” Stubblefield said. “Our main priority for our school bus drivers is to get students to and from school safely each day and they need the cooperation of other motorists to maintain the safety of our students.”
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