Back to School: Drivers urged to take caution, as school buses, children are back on the road

Back to School: Facts First

FAIRPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — It has been about six months since we’ve seen school buses on area roads and police are reminding drivers to pay attention and look for those buses and the children entering or exiting them.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, children are more likely to get hit by a car during the hours of 7 to 8 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. when they’re waiting for a school bus or crossing the street after getting off from one. 

Fairport Police Chief Sam Farina said anticipate slow stops if you’re driving behind a school bus and passing a school bus in any direction — even if it’s a four lane highway — is illegal. 

“Nobody wants to be in a position where they have to figure out why they had an accident with a school bus or had an accident somebody crossing before a school bus. just by taking a couple of extra minutes of your time during the day when you’re driving and being on the lookout for those that are trying to get to school,” said Farina. 

The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children, stopping far enough back to allow them space to enter and exit the bus safely. Also, distracted driving is another major concern for police

“People looking at their cell phones, people not paying attention to their surroundings. And you can easily use a school bus without even realizing, especially if you’re looking at your cell phone those are some of the concerns that we have, especially speed as well,” said Farina. 

Some reminders given from the NHTSA:

  • Look before you back out: watch out for children walking or bicycling to school when backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage. 
  • When driving in neighborhoods with school zones be sure to slow down.
  • Be alert: children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
  • Remember those yellow and red flashing lights. Yellow means the bus is preparing to stop and drivers should slow down. Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm means children are getting on or off the bus. Authorities say cars must stop at a safe distance until the sign has been folded back. 

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