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School bus inspections underway

Patrol offers safety tips for drivers and students

 

SOUTH POINT — Summer break ends for thousands of Ohio children this month who will be heading back to school.

For many, the trip to and from school involves riding on a school bus. Currently, the Ohio State Highway Patrol motor vehicle inspectors are in the process of inspecting every Ohio school bus to ensure each bus is safe to transport children to and from school, and school-sanctioned events.

Across Ohio the patrol has 23 teams of motor vehicle inspectors who inspect all Ohio school buses at least twice each year; once prior to the beginning of the school year and once during the school year. During 2009 through 2011, that equated to 138,231 inspections.

However, school bus safety is more than just the inspections. Motorists approaching a school bus from either direction should remember they are required to stop a least 10 feet back from buses displaying red flashing lights and an extended stop arm.

From 2009 through 2011, 4,326 motorists were cited for failing to stop for a school bus loading or unloading children.

“Although drivers of all vehicles are required to stop for a school bus when it is stopped to load or unload passengers, children should not rely on them to do so,” said Lt. M.R. Gore, commander of the Ironton Post. “Children exiting the bus should always stop and look both ways before crossing the street and remain alert to any sudden traffic changes.”

Motorists need to plan ahead and allow extra time for these school bus stops. Motorists are urged to exercise patience and never pass a stopped school bus.

Additionally motorists need to watch out for children walking to and from the bus stop when they are backing out of a garage or driveway.