Officials remind drivers about school bus safety prior to the new school year

Back To School Bus Safety And School Zones
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 9:19 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - It’s important for parents to keep their kids safe, and that includes when they send them to school on the school bus.

“So definitely bus traffic is one of our scariest things on the roadway because it has our precious cargo on it, our children,” Florida Highway Patrol Lieutenant Jason King said.

“I know everybody is busy to get to where they’re going, but we have precious cargo on this bus and we just want the public to know to please take your time,” Director of Risk Management, Safety and Transportation Hunter Nolen said.

You may already know that passing a school bus from behind when the stop sign is out is against the law.

Officials say they hope residents will always stay mindful of sharing roads with buses, but when you see the red or yellow lights flashing, or the red stop sign come out, that’s your cue to stop.

Many people aren’t aware of when they have to stop and when they can proceed with caution.

“A four lane road that has a division but no barrier in the middle, both sides of the traffic need to stop for a school bus no matter what side of the road they’re on,” King said. “The only time other vehicles going the opposite direction of the bus can continue going safely is when there is a raised median, if it’s grass or a concerete barrier.”

“Help us out this first couple of weeks while we get these students trained on how to enter and exit the bus,” Nolen said. “[We] Just really need the public’s help.”

It’s also important to slow down and pay close attention to the road when driving through school zones.

“You have small children in the area crossing roadways or on sidewalks so just slow down, be aware and be defensive,” King said.

Officials say they’re asking drivers to take these steps to help all kids have a safe school year.

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