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OSHP cracking down on traffic violations involving school buses | #schoolsaftey


LOUISVILLE, Ohio — Drivers, be on alert! It’s National School Bus Safety Week.

Here in Ohio, there’s an increased focus on cracking down on drivers who violate rules involving school buses and school zones.

While the Ohio State Highway Patrol is increasing its enforcement efforts, sheriff’s deputies in Stark County are shadowing buses during their routes.

“It’s amazing how many people don’t realize how many people don’t stop for school buses,” says Louisville Schools Transportation and Operations Director Doug Haines.

In a release to 3News, OSHP offers these instructions to drivers when it comes to school buses:

“Prior to stopping, school buses display yellow warning lights that signify the bus is about to stop. Once a bus comes to a complete stop, red flashing lights and a stop sign are displayed. Motorists approaching a stopped school bus from either direction are required to stop at least 10 feet from the bus while the bus driver is receiving or discharging students. When a road is divided into four or more lanes, only traffic driving in the same direction as the bus must stop. Drivers may not resume their travels until the bus starts moving.”

Haines says people not stopping for school buses with their flashing red lights on is a problem his drivers deal with on a weekly basis.

“Two to three times a week we have drivers call in and report somebody running their reds,” Haines says. “Unfortunately, the state of Ohio, [not requiring] … front license plates anymore, it makes it pretty difficult to get license plates sometimes in order to report them to law enforcement.”

Haines’ school bus drivers will get help this Thursday, as Stark County sheriff’s deputies and area police officers will ride with, and drive alongside district school buses.

“The most important thing is keeping our children safe,” says Stark County Sheriff George Maier.

The Stark County Sheriff’s Office offers the following tips:

For Motorists 

  • Do not pass a bus, for any reason, that is stopped to pick up or drop off children. 
  • Maintain a safe distance from the school bus. At least 10 feet away is a good rule of thumb.
  • Be especially cautious around school zones, residential areas, or any location where children might be walking or playing.
  • When the school bus is signaling yellow flashing lights, prepare to stop. When the school bus is signaling red lights and/or the stop sign arm from the side of the bus, you are required to stop. 
  • On a road with fewer than four lanes, all traffic approaching a stopped school bus from either direction must stop at least 10 feet from the front or rear of the bus and remain stopped until the bus begins to move or the bus driver signals the motorists to proceed.
  • If the bus is stopped on a street with four or more lanes, only traffic proceeding in the same directly as the bus must stop. 

For Pedestrians

  • Parents and guardians are encouraged to walk their children to the bus stop or arrange that they walk in a group with other children. Groups are easier to see!
  • Pedestrians should walk on sidewalks, but if there are no sidewalks, they should stay out of the street. 
  • Always stop and look left, right, and then left again when crossing the street, driveways and, alleys. 

Getting On and Off the Bus

  • Warn children that if they drop something they should never pick it up. Instead, they should tell the driver and follow the driver’s instructions. 
  • Remind children to look to the right and left before they get off the bus. 
  • Encourage kids to always stay at least five giant steps (or approximately 10 feet) away from the edge of the road while waiting to board the bus. 

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, since 2018, “there has been a total of 6,298 school bus related traffic crashes in Ohio, resulting in eight fatalities and 1,982 injuries.”

School Bus Safety Week 2023 runs from Monday, October 16 to Friday, October 20.

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