School Bus Safety Week

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By: WVUA23 Student Reporter Jeremiah Hatcher

TUSCALOOSA – It’s the third week of October, so it’s time for School Bus Safety Week.

Students, parents, and motorists all learn the importance of following school bus safety protocol.

Thousands of students use the bus daily to get to and from school. School buses provide students with the safest means of transportation. But school bus-related crashes continue to occur. The Center for Advanced Public Safety reports 394 crashes involving buses, one of which was fatal. A bus driver for Tuscaloosa City Schools says student safety is one of their top priorities.

“It’s essential once you get on your bus every morning, make sure you take the opportunity to check your bus out,” said bus driver Dorothy Benson. “If you check your bus out, it could take down the chances of you or your bus being broke down on the side of the road.”

Benson said in her time driving a school bus, her most significant problem was motorists passing the stop sign attached to the bus when students are loading or unloading.

“Bus drivers always have the biggest problem with drivers running stop signs,” said Benson. “So everybody should be aware when they see a bus with the lights on.”

Although illegal bus passing is the biggest problem, Alabama State Trooper Justin O’neal says cell phones are also a contributor to bus-related incidents. O’Neal said paying attention could mean life or death for any student getting on or off the bus.

“It is becoming increasingly common to use cell phones,” said O’Neal. “If you are not paying attention to the road when that school bus is letting kids on or off, you may glance down for a brief second and then pass that bus while it is loading, and that split second could mean the difference between life and death for one of those children.”

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency wants you to know yellow flashing caution lights followed by a red stop sign mean a child is about to get on or off the bus. 

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Categories: Local News