(ATLANTIC) Many area schools are back in session this week, which is a good reminder to keep an eye out for children and practice school bus safety.
Dave Eckles, Atlantic Bus Superintendent, says now is the time for motorists to change their traffic habits.
“The kids will be getting on and off the buses, watch for the buses yellow and red lights,” said Eckles. “When the yellow lights come on, please do not pass the bus especially from the rear. If you’re passing from the front you have just a couple minutes to pass, but once the red lights come out, please stop and don’t pass the school bus because we’re not sure which way the kids are going to go.”
Eckls also reminds children riding the bus to find a seat and stay there.
“The bus driver is trying to watch traffic, there is new routes, new kids, new faces, so everything is new at the beginning of the year,” said Eckles. “So, until everyone gets in a pattern, especially the first part of the year, we ask the kids to get on the bus and really watch their manners so the bus drivers can concentrate on their driving.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 20 school-age children die each year in school bus related crashes or incidents. Of these 20, five of the children are injured inside the bus, five are struck by other vehicles, and 10 are struck by the school bus itself.