LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — As students are returning to school across Arkansas, education officials have launched a campaign to inform motorists of the importance of stopping for stopped school buses.
The theme of the campaign, which is running from Aug. 11 to 29, is B.U.S.: "Be aware. U stay alert. So kids don't get hurt." It is sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) in conjunction with the Arkansas Association of Pupil Transportation.
“We want to remind motorists to be especially attentive whenever they are near a school bus," ADE Commissioner Tony Wood said. "We must all work together to keep Arkansas students safe.”
In Arkansas, a fleet of more than 6,000 school buses transport over a quarter of a million students to and from school and school-related activities each school day.
The penalties for those found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus were significantly increased by Arkansas Act 2128 of 2005, also known as Isaac’s Law. The legislation was named for Isaac Brian, an elementary student in the Bryant School District who was struck and killed when a driver illegally passed his school bus while students were unloading.
“This campaign also serves to remind students and parents about the simple safety measures they can take while going to and from the bus stop, getting on and off the bus, and riding the bus,” Wood said. “It also gives us a chance to thank Arkansas school bus drivers and school district transportation directors for their professionalism and hard work.”
B.U.S. awareness materials, including a sample news release, sample letter and safety tips for parents, are available here.
Arkansas state pupil transportation director Mike Simmons and Kimberly Friedman of the ADE have been making media appearances to promote the B.U.S. campaign. Here's a video of the two on KATV: