The Ohio State Highway Patrol reminds children and motorists that National School Bus Safety Week runs Oct. 17 through 21.
This year’s theme, “Be Aware-Know the Danger Zone,” reminds students to be cautious any time they must cross the street. Students need to cross where they can be seen by the school bus driver and they also need to watch for traffic. The greatest risk to our children is when they are outside the school bus. Student injuries and fatalities can occur as a result of motorists who attempt to pass a stopped school bus.
Motorist approaching from either direction are required to stop at least 10 feet from a stopped school bus, that is displaying flashing red lights and extended stop arm, until the school bus resumes motion. If a school bus is stopped on a road divided into four or more lanes, only traffic driving in the same direction as the bus must stop.
“While school buses remain the safest mode of travel on Ohio roadways, school bus crashes do occur,” Colonel John Born, Patrol superintendent said. In 2010, there were a total of 1,695 crashes involving school buses on Ohio roadways. Throughout the entire school year, there are special concerns that need to be considered when sharing the roads with school buses.
Motorists can do their part by starting to think about school bus safety the moment the car is started. When backing out of a garage or driveway, watch for children walking to the school bus. Many times children who are walking or riding their bicycle are paying more attention to getting to school and less attention to their personal safety.
“With the cooperation of motorists, parents, and children, we can all help make the school bus ride to and from school as safe as possible for our children, and make this a safe school year throughout Ohio,” Colonel Born said.
For additional information on National School Bus Safety Week, visit the National Association for Pupil Transportation web site at www.napt.org.