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Back to School: Bus Safety | #schoolsaftey

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – In a few weeks kids will be heading back to school. Which means buses will be back on the roads.

And it’s important to know the rules for driving near or behind a bus. Eau Claire Police Officer Ben Hundt says make sure to be aware of your surroundings while driving.

“We would suggest at any time you’re on the road to limit distractions, reduce speeds, especially if you see buses. But the biggest thing is just to pay attention.”, says public information officer Hundt.

Eau Claire Student Transit’s Director of Safety, David Myers says it’s important to look at the lights located on the back of the bus.

“There’s two different types of light activation. One being your hazard lights, the lower yellow lights. When those are flashing just like a city bus, it is okay to pass pass with caution. Then the second type of warning is a red light stop, which is activated by having your overhead yellow first as we’re approaching the stop. That’s to give warning. So you back off, take your speed down, give a little bit more space as the bus stops and comes to a complete stop.

The red lights come on. And once that has been activated, you cannot get within 20 feet of that bus.”, says Myers.

Myers says knowing when you can and cannot pass a bus is vital information as well.

“You cannot pass within 20 feet to the side of it either, he continues. No passing on the right. That’s our most dangerous set up. That’s where someone’s really going to get hurt or killed.”

Bus safety can not only save you money on a ticket but can also save a life.

“This is a super important topic because first off, nobody wants to get into a crash or nobody wants to get a ticket. But more importantly, nobody wants to hurt a kid. We want to make sure that our community remains safe. And it’s an important thing for people to remember.”, says Officer Hundt.

Officer Hundt also says, in just Eau Claire County alone, there have been around 20 bus-related accidents since 2020. And the department receives multiple complaints a week of school bus violations in the community.

The Department of Transportation says violating the rules for passing a school bus could cost you a minimum of $326.50. It also adds 4 demerit points on your license.

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