By Hayley M. Cook
WILLIAMSON – School is officially resuming in Mingo County on Aug. 14, which means school buses will be on the roads throughout different parts of Mingo and Pike counties again to pick up children.
Mingo County School Superintendent Rob Bobbera shared a few safety tips for drivers who may need a reminder that school buses will be on the roads again.
“One tip I have is to be aware that our school buses are running,” Bobbera said. “That means children will be on the roadside, so drivers should be vigilant and observant.”
Bobbera also had advice for drivers who may be in a rush to get somewhere.
“Drivers should be aware that our school buses make multiple stops, so if they are in a hurry they should plan accordingly. If you will be in a hurry, try to plan around the bus schedule and leave at an appropriate time. If a bus is stopped, never try to drive around it.”
Bobbera added, “Another important piece of advice is to refrain from talking on your cell phone while driving. Distracted driving is very dangerous and being aware is the key to being safe around school buses. In other words, put the phone down.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also shares tips for school bus safety on their website, www.nhtsa.gov.
Drivers living in residential neighborhoods are encouraged to take extra caution when leaving for work in the morning and backing out of their driveways. The website encourages driving slowly through neighborhoods in the morning, regardless of whether a school bus is clearly visible, just in case children are nearby.
The yellow flashing lights on a school bus indicate that the driver is preparing to stop or unload children, while red flashing lights indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Motorists, by law, must wait until the red lights have stopped flashing, the extended stop sign has been withdrawn and the bus has started moving before resuming travel.
The NHTSA also encourages parents to teach their children about bus safety.
Children should refrain from walking behind the bus, get to the bus stop about five minutes before the bus arrives, keep at least five giant steps away from the side of the bus and use the handrails when getting on or getting off the bus. When crossing in front of the bus, children should be far enough away to visibly see the bus driver (about 10 feet).