Back-to-School: Police, school leaders remind drivers about bus safety
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield Police Department is reminding drivers to remember the school bus stop laws.
Drivers must yield to school busses as they pick up and drop off children along the roadways.
“All drivers are required to stop if they are following a school bus and the bus stops while displaying the stop arm,” said Lt. Curt Ringgold with the Springfield Police Department. “Drivers approaching a school bus from the front that is stopped displaying the stop arm are required to stop unless the roadway has four lanes of traffic or more.”
The Springfield Police Department broke down the basic laws and reminders for drivers when approaching a school bus.
“When following a bus or approaching a bus that appears to be slowing down the lights will start flashing then the stop sign will come out of the bus,” said Lt. Ringgold. “You are obligated to stop when that stop sign is out.”
You may not pass the bus even if you do not see any kids exiting the bus because it is against the law.
“Those bus drivers will contact us with vehicle descriptions and we will investigate those the best that we can,” said Lt. Ringgold.
Springfield Public Schools shared some important reminders to share with your kids about school bus safety.
“We want students to wait for the driver to give the thumbs up signal, which means the driver has checked traffic and it is safe for the students to cross the street,” said Jonathan Sheldon, Springfield Public Schools Director of Transportation.
The danger zone is another important highlight to educate yourself and children.
“The danger zone is the 12-feet immediately around the bus and it’s difficult for drivers to see past and you have to use your mirrors,” said Sheldon.
According to the Firefighters Association of Missouri, when driving on a two-lane road, vehicles traveling in both directions must stop. In four or more lane highways, drivers behind the bus must stop and drivers traveling the opposite direction should proceed with caution according.
In addition, it is important for parents to remind their children how to safely enter and exit the bus.
Consequences and fines do increase in a school zone.
“We really try to increase child and pedestrian safety and there is lots of traffic flow so we want to improve the safety of the kids,” said Lt. Ringgold.
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