Every year we go through school bus safety rules with children. We review the safety concerns of getting on and off the bus, how to perform an emergency evacuation, and the importance of following all safety precautions on the bus. Every year there are students who get killed due to carelessness and ignorance. Part of the fault lies with the students, but a majority of the fault lies with the motorist who ignores the safety and laws regarding a stopped school bus.
School buses are equipped with emergency 4-way flashers, 8-way student lights, and flashing stop signs, sometimes the rear of the bus is equipped with a flashing panel warning motorists behind the bus that the bus is about to stop. Each state has their own laws regarding stopping for buses that are loading and unloading children, most states require that motorists obey the signs attached to the bus as if they were a fixed point. That means, if the school bus has all lights activated, the stop signs attached to the bus are extended, and you see the door open and students either entering or exiting the bus, YOU MUST STOP! DO NOT roll by the bus at a crawl. DO NOT speed up to get past the bus that is already stopped with lights and safety protocol activated. DO NOT play chicken with the children who may or may not be in the road and paying attention to YOU.
Often children get off the bus and cross the road without even stopping to look for traffic. They assume since the school bus is stopped, that it must be safe. Also, there are parents who are waiting for their children to get off the bus, some with the younger sibling of the child. As a motorist, you DO NOT want to explain to a distraught mother why you ran the school buses stop sign, and struck their child as their child was running into their arms. Rest assured though, if you do run our stop signs, we are required by law to record your license plate number, the color of your vehicle, and a description of you, and you WILL be getting a visit from a nice deputy explaining why it is important to stop for a school bus. You may also get a ticket.
We understand you’re busy and often in a hurry to get to your destination but please, consider the safety of the children and stop for school buses. You will be caught.
The Bus Driver