Drive safely around busesPublished 8:57pm Tuesday, March 5, 2013
The accident involving a school bus — empty except for its driver — and another vehicle Tuesday morning in Beaufort County serves as a reminder to drive carefully and obey traffic laws regarding school buses and school zones.
Motorists should take extra care when driving near school buses. After all, their passengers are children — your children, neighbors’ children, co-workers children and family members’ children.
Although the accident that occurred Tuesday resulted in damage to the school bus and other vehicle, at least no lives were lost or children injured. The school bus driver received minor injuries. It could have been worse for the driver and for any children who had been on the bus when the accident occurred.
Although the school year is about half over, motorists should keep in mind that caution must be exercised when driving near school buses. Nearly two years ago, nearly 3,700 vehicles illegally passed stopped school buses across the state, according to the state. Enough said. Talk about a disasters waiting to happen.
If protecting our children is not reason enough to drive carefully around school buses, then perhaps the possibility of punishment will deter drivers from passing stopped school buses and not paying attention when school buses are on the roads with them.
Just a reminder, all drivers must stop for stopped school buses that are displaying mechanical stop, signal or flashing red stoplights and are stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers unless the driver is traveling in the opposite direction of the school bus and there are at least four lanes of traffic with a median or turn lane separating the traffic.
All motorists are reminded that speed limits are reduced in school zones during morning and afternoon hours, and they are encouraged to use extra caution when traveling through these areas. Upon meeting or following school buses, be prepared for them to stop, and drivers should obey the stop arm. Never attempt to “beat” the stop arm and attempt a hazardous passing maneuver.
Drive safely, especially around school buses — with children aboard or when there’s just a driver.