The National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) announces “#STOP ON RED!” as this year’s theme for the annual National School Bus Safety Week. School districts all over America will engage in a public education program using, among other things, the winning poster from the 2016 Poster Contest. Eighth grader Brandon Pagurayan drew the winning poster that depicts a car passing a school bus that has its stop sign activated.
Everyone is invited to participate in the week of activities from October 16 – 20, 2017, designed to promote school bus safety. Parents, students, and motorists are working together with school bus drivers, teachers, and school administrators to spread the word and increase awareness of the need for greater school bus safety.
What is #STOP ON RED!?
#STOP ON RED! is an attempt to stop drivers from passing school buses that are loading or letting off children and have their stop sign arm activated. The greatest danger to children who ride the bus is when leaving the bus or approaching it to get on it.
It is illegal in every state to pass a school bus that has its stop-sign arm extended. For decades, school bus drivers have complained that drivers frequently violate the law.
School Bus Safety Tips
In addition to the #STOP ON RED! campaign, the NAPT offers tips for parents and students to stay safe while going to school. Some of the many suggestions are:
- Get to the bus stop at least five minutes early so the child will not run after or in front of a bus.
- Look right and left two times before crossing the street.
- Have children wait for the bus where the bus driver can see them while approaching the bus stop. If the driver cannot see the children, the driver might not stop, which can result in children suddenly darting into the street to get the driver’s attention.
- Children should notify the driver if they drop something while entering or exiting the bus, then follow the driver’s instructions. Stopping to pick up a dropped object can result in a child being accidentally left behind or struck.
- Tell your kids to look in both directions before exiting the bus. There may be someone riding a bike or another hazard on the sidewalk or side of the street.
- When picking up your child from the bus stop, park on the same side of the street where your child exits the bus so she does not run across the street.
All that said, riding a school bus is safer than being a passenger in a car. Children are 70 times more likely to get to school safely when traveling on a school bus rather than in a car, reports the NHTSA. School buses are among the most regulated vehicles on the road.
But if your child is injured in a school bus accident, call attorney Jason Schultz at 404-474-0804.