With school starting in most areas tomorrow, Oneida County Chief Deputy Sheriff Jon Owens shared bus safety tips for drivers and students in a NewsTalk with WKTV.
Owens says when the stop sign goes out as a bus is picking up or dropping off students, drivers should stop at least 20 feet away from the bus. Before a bus stops, the bus driver will usually flash yellow warning lights so drivers know to slow down and prepare to stop.
When a stopped school bus flashes its red lights, traffic that approaches from either direction, even in front of the school and in school parking lots, must stop before it reaches the bus. Drivers must also stop for a school bus even if it is on the opposite side of a divided highway.
Passing a stopped school bus can result in a minimum of $250 for a first violation to a maximum of $1,000 for three violations in three years. Anyone convicted of three of these violations in three years will lose their driver license for a minimum of six months.
He also says it’s important for students to be aware of their surroundings and not be distracted by electronics. Children should keep headphones off and put cell phones away before entering and exiting a school bus.