Posted Monday, Aug. 19, 2019
By Scott Bolthouse–The Huron Hub ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com
It’s back to school time for many districts in Michigan, which means the big yellow school buses will be all over the roads soon (FYI: Huron School District’s first day is Tuesday, Sept. 3).
Every year, there are a handful of national news stories reporting on school bus accidents caused by bad drivers.
Let’s take a moment to remind ourselves: don’t drive foolish around school buses.
No matter where you’re rushing to or from, it’s not worth risking the lives of school children.
An illegal passing ticket costs up to $100, with an additional $100 to $500 in fines and up to 100 hours of community service.
Here is a big list of tips from Michigan State Police for drivers as they share the roads with thousands of schools buses daily:
School Bus Safety
School buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school. Riding in a school bus is safer than walking, riding a bicycle, or being driven to school in private vehicles.
Today’s school buses are built with safety in mind. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, children are protected in large school buses by compartmentalization, a passive occupant protection system.
This provides a protective envelope consisting of strong, closely-spaced seats that have energy-absorbing padded seat backs that help to distribute and reduce crash forces. Compartmentalization is most effective when occupants are fully seated within the bus seat. Seating should be provided that will allow each occupant to sit on a school bus seat without any part of his or her body extending into the aisle.
The majority of bus-related deaths and injuries involve pedestrians-mostly children-who are struck by a bus or injured when they are exiting the bus to cross traffic.
School bus safety tips for drivers:
- Prepare to stop when a slowing bus has its overhead yellow lights flashing
- Stop at least 20 feet away for buses when red lights are flashing, unless driving in the opposite direction on a divided highway
- Slow down in or near school and residential areas
- Look for clues-such as safety patrols, crossing guards, bicycles, and playgrounds-that indicate children might be in the area
- Watch for children between parked cars and other objects
School buses are like traffic signals
- When overhead lights are flashing yellow: Prepare to stop
- When overhead lights are flashing red: Stop
- When hazard warning lights are flashing: Proceed with caution
School bus safety tips for students:
- Always stay in sight of the bus driver
- Don’t hurry off the bus; check traffic first
- Don’t go back to the bus after exiting