School is back in session this week in our home of Westbrook, Maine and in many other towns across the country. This means there will be children of all ages walking to school and riding the bus, and drivers everywhere need to be extra vigilant. Whether you are moving to your new home or just driving to work, here are 6 tips for sharing the road safely with a school bus:
1) Watch for flashing lights.
Yellow means slow down. When you see red lights and the red stop sign on the side of the bus, STOP.
2) Do not pass the bus.
It is illegal to pass a bus on the right. It is also illegal to pass a bus that has stopped to load or unload children. Wait to resume driving until the red lights are off and the stop sign has been pulled in by the driver.
3) Give buses plenty of space.
Stop at least 10 feet away from a bus with flashing red lights to give children enough room to enter/exit safely. Buses also have a wider turning radius than cars, so give the driver some room. Wait for the bus to stop at train tracks.
4) Stay alert.
As a driver, it is your responsibility to watch for children waiting for the bus and crossing the street. This also applies to the many children who walk to school. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
5) Slow down!
Drive slowly in all residential areas and watch for bus stops. Pay attention to the reduced speed limit in school zones. Your local police department will be watching, and fines are hefty for speeding past a stopped bus or through a school zone.
6) Be patient.
Buses make frequent stops. Be prepared for your morning/afternoon commute to take a little longer and allow yourself ample time to get where you need to go.
Our community’s children are counting on you to keep them all safe. While our drivers watch carefully for school buses and children walking or biking to school in the neighborhoods we are moving customers to and from, thank you for doing your part as well.