National School Bus Safety Week observed

COLUMBUS — The week of Oct. 16-20 has been designated National School Bus Safety Week. This year’s theme, “Stop on Red,” reminds motorists and students about the dangers that exist outside of school buses.

Highway patrol troopers will increase visibility on school bus routes and school related safety zones by following or riding on school buses to identify violations.

Motorists approaching a stopped school bus from either direction are required to stop at least 10 feet from the bus while the bus is receiving or discharging students. Bus drivers will activate yellow warning lights prior to the stop to warn traffic, and will display red flashing lights and a stop sign while the bus is stopped. Motorists should be especially vigilant around any stopped school bus — with or without flashing lights. Where a road divided into four or more lanes, only traffic driving in the same direction as the bus must stop.

Students need to cross where the school bus driver can see them, wait for the drivers signal to cross and watch for traffic. The greatest risk to children is when they are outside the school bus. Student injuries and fatalities can occur when motorists attempt to pass a stopped school bus.

“School buses remain the safest mode of transportation for students to and from school,” said Colonel Paul A. Pride, patrol superintendent. “With the cooperation of motorists, parents, and children and public awareness we can make this a safe school year throughout Ohio.”

From 2014 to 2016, 4,160 drivers were convicted of failing to stop for a stopped school bus and 3,958 traffic crashes were reported involving school buses. The patrol reminds motorists to use caution when driving around school buses or in school zones. Motorists should also be prepared to stop quickly and remain aware of their surroundings.

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