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Police Urge School Bus Safety

Follow these tips to help keep back to school as safe as possible.

The wheels on the bus go round and round—and they're likely coming soon to a street near you. Back to school means more young pedestrians and school buses in the mornings and afternoons, police announced.

Have you witnessed violations of school bus safety in your neighborhood? Tell us in the comments.

Sgt. Angela Mickle of the 's Community Outreach Unit released the following statement with school bus safety tips this week:

The start of School is right around the corner so here is a quick review of School Bus Safety. Please take a moment to read this very important information to help protect our children! 

  • On average, two school-aged pedestrians are killed every year during school arrival and dismissal times.
  • On average, more than 150 school-aged pedestrians are injured during school arrival and dismissal times.

Rules You Need to Know

When driving near school buses, remember:

  • It is against the law to pass a stopped school bus while its lights are flashing and its stop arm is extended.
  • On undivided roadways, with no physical barrier or median, vehicles must stop on both sides of the roadway.
  • Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
  • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and children are getting on or off. Motorists approaching from either direction must wait until the red lights stop flashing before proceeding.
  • Learn and obey the "alternately flashing warning light" system that school bus drivers use to alert motorists.
  • Please share these tips with your children if he or she is walking to school or taking the school bus.

When riding the school bus:

  • Have a safe place to wait for your bus, away from traffic and the street.
  • Stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals you to enter.
  • When being dropped off, exit the bus and walk ten giant steps away from the bus. Keep a wide distance between you and the bus. Also, remember that the bus driver can see you best when you are away from the bus.
  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk at least ten feet ahead of the bus along the side of the road, until you can turn around and see the driver.
  • Make sure that the driver can see you.
  • Wait for a signal from the driver before beginning to cross. When the driver signals, walk across the road, keeping an eye out for sudden traffic changes.
  • Do not cross the centerline of the road until the driver has signaled that it is safe for you to begin walking.
  • Be aware of the street traffic around you. Drivers are required to follow certain rules of the road concerning school buses, however, not all do.
  • Protect yourself and be on the look out.
  • Use the handrail to enter and exit the bus.
  • There should be no drawstrings on hoods or around the neck.  Drawstrings at the waist or bottom of the jacket should extend no more than 3 inches to prevent catching in car or bus doors or on playground equipment

Sgt. Angela Mickle of the White Marsh precinct's Community Outreach Unit can be reached at 410 887-5035 or by email at amickle@baltimorecountymd.gov.

mcgillicuddy August 09, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Let's hope that everyone concerned follows the rules and we'll wind up with a good record for this year.
Dennis Gilpin August 11, 2012 at 10:01 PM
For any Drivers who pass school buses while the lights are on will receive a citation that carries a maximum payable fine of $570.00 and a three point penalty.Those who stop and proceed while the lights are on will receive a citation that carries a maximum payable fine of $570.00 and two points While no one wants this, having to live with the thought that your negligence caused injury to a child is worse.

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