Stop for stopped school buses
Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2022
They are really, really hard to miss. They’re big. They’re bright yellow. And when they stop to pick up school kids, they pull out all the stops — yellow flashing lights followed by red flashing lights with extended red stop signs and stop arms.
Like we said, they’re hard to miss.
Yet, every school year drivers fail to stop for stopped school buses. And, too often, innocent children get hurt. Or killed.
It happens more often than you think. A huge number of people, some deliberately, some through inattention, ignore school bus stop signs — you know, those red, octagonal signs that extend out from the side of school buses when they come to a stop and let children off or pick them up. These signs tell motorists to stop, because there could be children coming around the front of the bus to cross the street. Ignoring them is like pulling out around a car that has stopped at a crosswalk — both dangerous and stupid.
The danger when motorists disobey the no-passing law is that students boarding or getting off a bus could be struck and either killed or injured.
While only a few students die in the United States each year in such circumstances, that’s too many. And considering how many motorists ignore the activated stop signs on school buses, it’s a wonder more children aren’t struck.
When the wheels on a school bus aren’t going round and round and its lights are flashing, that’s a cue for motorists to stop so that children can safely enter and exit the bus.
School is back in session and traffic is heavy, especially in the morning and afternoon at city schools, as parents drop off and pick up children. If you do not need to drive in these areas during these times, please avoid doing so.
Let’s do what whatever we can to ensure children can get to and from school safely.