CHEBOYGAN COUNTY — As the start of another school year approaches, Cheboygan County Sheriff Tim Cook encourages caution whenever school buses are present.
“We are asking the parents to talk to their children and go over school bus safety rules with them,” said Cook. “It is important children know when to get on and off a bus, look for cars and how to cross a street.”
Cook also advises parents to follow rules at their child’s school regarding pick-up and drop-off.
“The schools all have rules for picking up and dropping off students and it is important to abide by those rules to ensure everyone’s safety,” he said.
For students, Cook offered some safety tips to keep in mind:
- Always arrive at the bus stop early.
- Prior to boarding, wait until the bus has come to a complete stop, the door opens, and the bus driver says that it’s OK to board.
- Always follow the directions of the bus driver.
- Always walk on the sidewalk when preparing to cross the street near a bus.
- Make eye contact with the driver so that you are sure he or she sees you.
- Never walk behind the bus.
- If you are walking beside the bus, walk at least three giant steps away.
- Take extra precaution to make sure that clothing with drawstrings and backpacks do not get caught in the handrail or door.
- Never stoop to pick something up that you have dropped when a bus is stopped. Wait until the bus has driven off to avoid not being seen by the driver.
Cook also reminded motorists of some bus safety rules:
- Remember that children are unpredictable in their actions. Take extreme caution when traveling in a school zone.
- If there are no sidewalks, drive cautiously. Be more alert to the possibility of children walking in the road.
- Be more aware of children playing near school bus stops.
- Slow down and prepare to stop whenever you see yellow school bus lights flashing.
- Never pass a school bus when there are flashing red lights. This is a sign that children are getting off the bus.
- Learn and obey the state’s school bus laws.
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Cook noted there have been incidents where a vehicle disregarded the school bus red lights, putting students in danger.
“Our bus drivers are vigilant and care about the safety of the children in their care,” he said. “When they report a violation, we investigate it and take appropriate action. There is no excuse for disobeying a bus signal.”
— Contact Jillian Fellows at email@example.com.