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Practicing bus safety as students head back to school | #schoolsaftey

School bus (Courtesy: GettyImages)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Back to school time is here, which means drivers are going to start seeing school buses back on the road.

“It’s the first day of school, and that means our yellow school buses are back out on the roads,” Renee Boydo, First Student director of safety training, said. “We haven’t been seeing them a lot all summer, but now, they are going to be everywhere.”

Boydo suggests giving yourself more time to get to work as school begins.

Sgt. Brian Mock from the Wichita Police Department says one of the more common traffic complaints they receive is people not stopping for buses. The lights and stop sign means the bus is actively loading and unloading students, and cars must stop in all four lanes.

“It’s actually illegal in all 50 states and especially here in Kansas to pass a school bus when it is stopped,” Boydo said.

Parents can teach their kids about staying safe while unloading and loading as well.

“They want to hurry up and get on that school bus,” Boydo said. “But it’s very important as parents that we help prepare our students for that first day of school and that we help prepare them to be safe that first day of school. Before they start loading the bus, we need to wait for that school bus to be fully stopped. We need to stay 10 giant steps away from that school bus and wait for our school bus driver to give that universal thumbs-up sign that it is safe to start loading, whether they’re crossing the street, or whether they’re loading from the passenger side.”

Sgt. Mock says the responsibility is on the driver to pay attention. Kids are getting used to new pickup locations, and some bus stops are on busy streets.

“The kids aren’t as aware sometimes, especially the younger ones aren’t as were dangers that are in the street,” Sgt Mock said. “So it’s up to adults that are driving in the cars to help watch out for the safety of the children.”

Boydo says it takes paying attention to keep students safe.

“We actually transport the future, and it’s really important that we keep that future safe,” Boydo said. “So whether it’s our school bus drivers or the vehicle, the motorist on the road or the parents helping keep our students safe. It’s a collective effort.”

“Slow down, be careful and watch out for the kids. Their safety is the most important, not getting somewhere, you know, a few seconds faster,” Sgt. Mock said.

Sgt. Mock adds always use crosswalks and sidewalks when walking.

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