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Practice increased caution as school buses return to roadways

We rehash this warning and plea every year around this time because it’s information that’s worth repeating. 

As students and teachers return to the classroom this week for another year of learning, we urge drivers to pay attention when sharing the roadways with local school buses. During morning and afternoon hours when buses are transporting students to and from school, use extra caution to ensure everyone reaches their final destination safely.

Sure, it can be frustrating when a slow or stopped bus forces you to pause in your own travel plans. We all have somewhere to be, and the scurry and scramble of life can make it seem necessary to speed along, whatever the cost. 

However, the potential for injury or death to a child is a cost that is far too great – and that’s exactly what can happen if you fail to be cautious around a bus that is stopped to load or unload students.

Leave yourself a little extra time when you know you’ll be traveling along a bus route. We all know the hours of each day buses join the roadways, so it should be easy to plan your schedule with their schedule in mind.

Please, don’t take any risks when traveling in the vicinity of student-laden school buses. 

If the bus is stopping, all traffic is also required to stop, with the only exception being vehicles on the opposite side of a four-lane highway divided by a median. 

Students getting on or off the bus might not be watching for you – which makes it that much more important for you to watch for them. Give children plenty of space to cross the road when the bus is loading or unloading, and don’t be too quick to hit the gas when you think they have all crossed. A tardy student might be running up to catch his bus at the last minute, or a student might find she has dropped something and turn to go back and pick it up.

We want all our Franklin County students – as well as teachers, administrators, support staff, parents and everyone who is connected to our local school systems – to have happy and safe school years, both inside and outside the classroom. Please join us in taking care to ensure all students are able to travel safely.