School Bus Safety: Drivers must watch out for kids, buses

Another school year has arrived. After what seemed like a too-short summer, kids are getting back into new routines, trying to remember all the rules, how to get to their lockers … all kinds of things that will be old hat by next week. School bus safety rules will be part of that new routine, as kids shift their thinking back to staying in their seats, keeping their hands to themselves, leaving room for the younger ones up front …

It is not just the kids who will have to shift their thinking when it comes to school buses being back on the road. Mid-Ohio Valley drivers need to get back into the habit of keeping an eye out for kids walking to and from school or the bus stop.

In both West Virginia and Ohio, drivers are required to stop before meeting or overtaking any school bus that is stopped with its flashing warning lights on, and cannot resume driving until the school bus driver has signaled them ahead or the visual signs are no longer actuated.

In Ohio, the rule is more specific: All drivers must stop at least 10 feet from the front or rear of the bus.

Remember, on a two-lane road, drivers traveling in both directions must stop when they see that school bus stop sign swing out.

The most important rule to remember is to simply pay attention. Pay attention to the rules, but also to all those youngsters darting around the bus, many of them who will have to spend some time walking after they get off the bus.

Fines and worries about suspended driver’s licenses are nothing compared to the worry about all those precious lives in danger when a driver stops paying attention.