MADISON (WKOW) — The Wisconsin State Patrol is emphasizing safety around school buses with the school year right around the corner.
There are about 600 crashes involving school buses every year in Wisconsin, according to the state patrol.
Superintendent Tim Carnahan said school buses are some of the safest vehicles on the road because of how they’re built, but the goal is to “avoid testing that technology.”
“All drivers must maintain the highest level of awareness when traveling near a school bus to avoid crashes and protect children on the way to school,” he said.
Bus drivers can report when they’re passed illegal to law enforcement, which can result in a $326 fine and four demerit points for the offending driver.
To stay safe and obey the laws regarding school buses, the state patrol has a few recommendations.
First, stay aware when driving near school buses, especially when the stop arm is extended and warning lights are on. Buses stop frequently, and children coming out of the bus may be unpredictable.
When the warning lights are flashing, Wisconsin law asks drivers to stop 20 feet behind the bus. Drivers must also yield to pedestrians.
Finally, parents should refresh their children on how to stay safe when getting on and off busses. Some of these recommendations include looking both ways, listening to traffic guards, and staying away from the road when waiting for the bus and until it completely stops.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation also has a video about school bus safety.