Watch for School Buses, We all Need to Play it Safe

Bus Safety Goes Beyond the Students and Drivers

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Going back to school doesn’t just affect teachers and students.

For parents there is the concern of safety.

Have the buses been inspected?

Who is my child’s driver?

For motorists it’s just as important to remember to play it safe around buses, to lessen the chance of a dangerous accident.

In order to get behind the wheel of a bus drivers have to meet certain criteria.

They have to have a license with specific endorsement, hours of training and be able to pass a background check.

Whether it’s the beginning of the school day or classes are out, kids are eager to board buses and head home.

“When you see yellow, be cautious. Kids can be unpredictable,” said Duluth Public School’s Transportation Manager Mike Johnson.

While safety may not be on the minds of students it’s a constant for drivers.

“Kids should wait back from the stop. They shouldn’t approach the bus until the bus has stopped,” said Johnson.

As with any vehicle school buses have blind spots.

“One of the things we refer to is a danger zone. Its 10–feet immediately around the bus,” said Johnson.

Some of the danger zones are near the back tires of the bus and at the front.

“The crossing arm on the front of the bus forces kids to cross the street and be within 10-feet of the bus, so they’re in sight of the driver,” said Johnson.

While a lot of these things may seem like common sense, that’s not always the case.

Be sure not to pass the bus from behind or from the front if the stop arm is out.

Johnson said some people are so anxious to get around a bus they will pass on the right side.

Wild and uncalled for actions like that put kids in danger.

Johnson said the best advice is to, “Get off the bus, get away from the bus and make eye contact with the driver and wait for them to signal you across the road as well”.

Safety measures aren’t just in place on the bus for students but also drivers.

Every new-age school bus comes with a ‘Leave No Student Behind Alarm System’.

A policy that forces drivers to check the bus after their route is complete and make sure no kids are still on the bus, or perhaps sleeping.

It’s another way to protect future generations.

If drivers don’t follow the alarm policy they will be prompted to do so by audio and visual reminders.

Come September 8th, more than 80 buses will be covering routes in Duluth. 

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