As the languid days of summer recede into the rearview mirror, it’s once again time for the shuffle of tiny feet, the clatter of textbooks and the nostalgic, familiar grumble of the school bus.
Kids and teachers alike are adjusting their alarm clocks and bidding goodbye to summer vacation as we revert to the rhythms of a fresh academic year.
But amid the hustle of back-to-school prep, the Canton Police Department has some reminders for us all – primarily about school bus safety.
It’s not just the students and teachers that need to have their thinking caps on. Every driver in Georgia plays a role in preventing school bus-related mishaps. And the best tool we can wield? Knowledge.
Our roads will soon be dotted with school buses carrying our most precious cargo – students of all ages. And where there are school buses, there are likely to be pedestrians: parents, grandparents, or maybe the family dog. So, it’s a good idea to refresh ourselves on the laws surrounding school bus safety.
Let’s take a look at the basics:
If you’re on a two-lane roadway, or a multi-lane roadway that is paved across, you must stop when a school bus is loading or unloading students, regardless of your direction of travel. Picture a two-way street or a wide road where there’s no median — all vehicles need to hit the brakes.
For those on a divided highway with an unpaved space of 5 feet or more, a raised median, or a physical barrier, the rules shift slightly. Vehicles behind the bus must stop, but those traveling in the opposite direction should proceed with caution.
While these rules might seem straightforward, in the rush of the morning commute it’s easy to forget the fine print. So, let’s be vigilant, slow our speed in school zones, and keep our eyes peeled for little ones hopping on and off the bus.
Back to school isn’t just about new backpacks, sharpened pencils, and making it to class on time. It’s also about keeping our roads safe for everyone involved. So as you set your alarms and pack those lunches, keep these tips in mind – this is the kind of homework that could save a life.