Friday, 10 August 2007 01:30

School's Starting Monday - Watch for Kids and Buses

slide5Starting this coming Monday August 13, Amador County kids are heading back to school.  That means you'll be seeing more big yellow school buses on the road. Every day, millions of school-age kids begin and end their day on the bus. The Amador County School District is reminding all residents that on school mornings, drivers need to be alert for children heading to school even if no school bus is present. 

For example, when backing out of a driveway, look carefully for children who might be walking to the bus stop or to school. As you drive through your neighborhood, watch for children walking in the street, or kids playing at the bus stop - if a ball goes rolling across the street, chances are there will be a child right behind it. Be alert and ready to stop. Be aware that traffic will increase near our schools as parents who transport their youngsters to school each morning will again be lining up.  Motorists are advised to use caution as the school year begins. Children who are not bused or driven to class will be walking, riding their bikes, scooters or even skateboards along the streets here as they hurry to school. In some areas without sidewalks, boys and girls will be using the same streets as cars and trucks. This is a good time to review safety rules involving cars and buses to keep kids (and drivers) safe.

* Never pass a school bus with Red Flashing Lights.  The bus has stopped to load or unload students. Kids may be racing to catch the bus in the morning, and in the afternoon, they may be too engrossed in catching up with their friends to be alert for traffic when along the streets. Motorists need to heed the bus’s flashing red lights and extended stop arm, even if they don't see any children. * Yellow Flashing Lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles. This is not the time to speed up to pass a bus so you don't have to wait. * Operation Lifesaver, a non profit group that works on rail safety education, reminds drivers that in California, buses carrying students are required to come to a complete stop, open the bus door and look and listen for trains at railroad crossings. Motorists should be aware of this and slow down as well. It is unsafe to try to go around the bus to cross the tracks, as the bus may block the motorist's sight lines, preventing them from seeing an oncoming train.--Parents should also teach their children rules for riding the school bus safely: * Get to the bus stop on time, so you won't have to dash across the road to catch the bus. Do not cross the street when you see the school bus, wait for the bus driver to escort you. * When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic. Line up away from the street or road as the school bus approaches. * Wait until the bus has stopped and the door opens before stepping toward the school bus. * When the bus is moving, always stay in your seat. Loud talking or other noise can distract the bus driver. Never put head, arms or hands out of the window.* When the school bus approaches a highway-rail grade crossing, be calm and quiet so your driver is able to listen for a train. Obey your driver's instructions, so he or she will make safe decisions for your ride to school. * Wait for the bus to stop completely and the entrance door to open before getting up from your seat. The School district wants to express their appreciation to everyone’s cooperation in improving safety of the school children of Amador County.