Mount Gilead – The week of October 19th through the 26th has been designated National School Bus Safety Week. This year’s theme, “Red Lights Mean Stop!” reminds motorists, students, and school bus drivers the importance each of them have to ensure the safety of our children.
As a school bus approaches its stop, it will display flashing yellow warning lights to indicate the bus is about to stop. Once stopped, the lights will turn red, continue to flash, and a stop sign is displayed on the left of the bus. Motorists approaching the stopped bus from either direction are required to stop a minimum of 10 feet from the bus while the bus is loading or unloading students. If the road is divided into four or more lanes, only the traffic traveling in the same direction as the bus is required to stop. Drivers may only resume traveling when the bus continues traveling and deactivates its lights.
From 2016 to 2020, 59 drivers were convicted of failing to stop for a stopped school bus between Morrow and Knox Counties. For the 2019 school year the Mount Gilead Post had 39 complaints filed involving drivers that failed to stop for a school bus while loading or unloading students.
“Safety on the roadway is a shared responsibility,” said Lieutenant Grewal, commander of the Mount Gilead Post. “Motorists should always exercise caution while children are exiting and boarding a bus.”
The greatest risk to children is when they are outside of the school bus. Students need to wait for the bus driver’s signal to cross the road and to walk where the bus driver can see them. Troopers from the Mount Gilead Post will be highly visible during the next week along school bus routes and in school zones to ensure the safety of students.
The Patrol reminds motorists to plan ahead and allow extra time for these school bus stops.