Maine sees at least five crashes involving school buses | #schoolsaftey

Most recently, a Lewiston school bus on its way to an elementary school was rear-ended Friday morning.

MAINE, USA — Since the beginning of the new school year, there have been at least five crashes involving a school bus. A few were at the hands of distracted driving, which remains the biggest concern for some bus drivers.

Most recently, a Lewiston school bus on its way to an elementary school was rear-ended Friday morning. Earlier in the week, an SUV crashed into the back of a bus in Orrington after the driver was distracted by one of the children in their vehicle. In Early September, a driver reportedly became distracted and struck a school bus stop arm in Raymond.

“You come up to a red light, come up to a car ahead of you, person [is], who knows, texting, watching movies or god knows what, what goes on there,” Hans Brandes, a Falmouth bus driver, said.

An AAA safety education specialist said once you see the bus put its yellow lights on, that means it’s getting ready to stop, which means you should prepare to stop as well. When a bus flashes its red lights and its stop arm comes out, all traffic coming, both, from the opposite direction and following behind the school bus needs to come to a complete stop.

“It’s important that everybody focuses and has their attention on the roadway and scans ahead to see what’s happening. Instead of looking down at their phone or radio or whatever,” Thomas Baran, a AAA traffic safety education specialist at Northern New England, said. “Just those few seconds looking down can make a huge difference.”

Tips from the Maine Department of Education include:

  • Be prepared to brake if traveling behind a bus as they make frequent stops. 
  • Watch for children at bus stops, and keep an eye out if they’re crossing the street. 
  • Never pass a stopped bus; that applies to both directions of traffic. Illegally passing a stopped school bus could cost you more than $300 in fines, and for repeat offenders, it could lead to a suspension of your license.

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