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Caution for return to school

On Monday, students will return to school in most districts in Lawrence County.

With the start of the academic year, we would like to remind drivers to be mindful on the road, both of school buses and of children either walking to school or waiting on the bus.

The National Transportation Safety Council says most children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old and are walking.

The groups offers the following tips:

• Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic

• In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection

• Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign

• Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas

• Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians

• Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way

When driving behind a bus, the council advises to allow a greater following distance than if behind a car. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop

The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.