EDITORIAL: Stay alert as buses return

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 20, 2022

By the time you read this, school will be back in session for most of Lawrence County.

And, with that comes the resumption of bus routes through the area.

While bus drivers in Lawrence County have a solid driving record, the fact remains that the road is, of itself, a danger for students.

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 23 million children ride buses to class each day across the country.

When looking at figures from 2011-2020, on average, there are 121 people killed each year in bus-related crashes. Of those 33 percent were bus passengers, 8 percent were bus drivers and the majority, 54 percent, were occupants of other vehicles.

As we urge each year, please be mindful of buses that are now on the road during your commute.

The National Safety Council says the following:

• Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it 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.

• Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks.

By staying alert, you can do your part to children and yourself safe on the road.