Road safety reminders for students and drivers during ‘School Bus Safety Week’ | #schoolsaftey

MAINE, Maine — During the school year, about 3,400 Maine school buses drive along local roads each day, transporting 80 % of Maine students to and from their academic destinations, covering a range of 30 million miles. 

This week marks “School Bus Safety Week.”

What you need to know

  • The flashing yellow lights on a school bus mean it’s stopping soon.
  • When those lights turn red, drivers must fully stop even if it’s on the opposite side of a divided highway, on a multi-lane road, or a parking lot.
  • Not stopping completely is a class-E crime in Maine, with a minimum $250 fine, and your license suspended.
  • Avoid distracted driving and put your phone down.

RELATED: Brewer Fire Department spends time with students to teach them about fire safety

So far this year, there have been 60 school bus crashes in Maine. Sixty-nine were reported in 2021 and 103 in 2022, according to the Maine DOT and Maine Bureau of Highway Safety (BHS). 

Erica Davis is the highway safety coordinator for the Maine BHS and says we all play an important role in keeping Maine students safe.

“At night especially,” Davis said. 

Davis asked drivers to be aware of children getting off of the bus at night and for students to always be aware of their surroundings. 

“When they get off, look right, left, [and] right before you exit the bus; making sure that there is no one coming [and] everything is clear,” She said. 

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With daylight savings, the sun sets earlier and rises later, leaving students riding the bus in the dark this time of year. Davis said this is why people must remain observant and implored parents and students to “stay vigilant.”

Davis also cautioned students to stay a few feet behind the curb while they wait for the bus and encouraged parents to teach their kiddos not to play or run around the bus stop, especially when traffic is present. 

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