New school clothes are ready, backpacks are prepped and alarm clocks are set as kids head back to school. This also means school buses are back on the road. And while their slower speed and many stops might slow up your morning commute, they are a vital part of the school day. Designed for safety, with flashing lights, giant mirrors, stop-sign arms and bright yellow color; school buses hard to miss on the road. In fact, students are seventy times more likely to get to school safely when taking a school bus instead of traveling by car, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
So after the kids hop on the bus in the morning, leave a little extra time to get to work, the gym or the coffee shop and remember the rules of the road when it comes to buses.
- Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – it is illegal in all fifty states to pass a bus 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 ten 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 be unaware of hazards and risks.
- Mind school zone speed limits, they can sneak up on you quickly.
Add a smile and a wave to your neighborhood bus driver, after all they are carrying precious cargo.