With the 2009-10 school year getting into gear, state patrol agencies and pupil transportation organizations are issuing school bus safety tips for children, parents and motorists.
First Student Inc. disseminated a list of recommendations, including that students avoid using cell phones, MP3 players or handheld video game players in order to remain alert at all times. The company also urged students to be careful when crossing in front of the bus and avoid dangling toggles or keychains that could get caught in bus doors and handrails.
First Student also suggested that students learn their bus number and driver’s name, stay quiet and seated while on the bus, and be courteous to fellow riders.
In Atlanta, the Georgia State Patrol issued a statement notifying motorists that troopers will patrol school zones and watch for those who fail to stop for a school bus that is loading or unloading passengers. State officials also urged drivers not to tailgate school buses and to be alert for children waiting at bus stops, especially during morning hours when visibility is reduced.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol reminded motorists that traffic patterns will change, with additional vehicles on the road transporting students to school. The agency warned drivers to be particularly cautious in the afternoons, and warned younger drivers to avoid distractions such as cell phones and radios.
In Shreveport, La., Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator said deputies assigned to the Traffic Safety Unit and Patrol Division will concentrate their efforts at schools located outside the Shreveport city limits, and he reminded motorists that school bus drivers are authorized to notify law enforcement of any stop-arm violators.
The sheriff also urged parents to wait with children at their bus stops, and he reminded bus drivers to check their buses before and after completing their routes.