Everyone is responsible for keeping kids’ commutes to school safe

Local News

(WKBN) – The school year is just around the corner and that means kids will soon be riding the bus. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to be safe around school buses.

It’s especially important for kids, parents and drivers to pay extra attention while around school buses and bus stops this time of year.

It starts with getting the kids prepared. Parents are encouraged to start the conversation, reminding their kids how to stay safe.

“Making sure you have those conversations with your student about looking both ways before crossing the road, taking a moment to assess the situation and look around to just be aware of your surroundings before you cross the street or enter onto the school bus,” Sgt. Ray Santiago said.

Back-to-school safety tips for drivers, parents and students

He said school bus safety is a shared responsibility with the community. From the Highway Patrol inspecting buses before the school year starts to drivers in the community being extra careful, we are all responsible to help kids get back to school safely.

The new school year means your morning commute could take a little longer. Your route may have one or several bus stops. Drivers need to be aware.

“If you know there’s going to be bus stops along your routes in the coming fall months, you should probably plan ahead and leave for your destinations a little bit earlier so you’re not in a rush,” Santiago said. “Don’t put yourself in a situation where, you know, slamming on your brakes or you make a poor decision and decide to pass a school bus. So a lot of it is planning.”

So here are some rules of the road in case you’ve forgotten:

  • Two-lane road: Drivers in both directions must stop when the bus is loading or unloading. The bus’ stop sign will be extended and the red lights will be flashing.
  • More than two lanes:
    • You’re headed in the opposite direction of the bus: You can continue to drive without stopping.
    • You’re headed in the same direction as the bus: Stop.

Also remember to slow down in school zones and be especially aware of your surroundings.

And no matter what, don’t drive with distractions. Put your phone away and make sure you adjust the radio, air conditioning or GPS before you start driving down the road.

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