Watch for Children and School Busses
The school year has started for the Lake Station Community Schools. The start of school brings increased bus traffic and children waiting or walking near roadways. I would like to remind motorists to watch for children waiting to board and get off busses, especially in the early morning and late afternoon hours. Learn the “Flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists if they are going to stop. Remember, whenever the school bus stop arm is extended you are required by Indiana law to stop. Disregarding a school bus stop arm is a class B misdemeanor punishable with up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Police Officers will have zero tolerance for anyone disregarding a school bus stop arm or speeding in a school zone.
Parents, most school bus-related accidents involve children who dash in front of a car or school bus to retrieve papers or other dropped articles. You should emphasize the danger zone immediately surrounding the school bus. The area, approximately ten feet around the bus, is where most children are injured. The bus driver has limited visibility in this area. Parents should encourage children to carry articles in a backpack or book bag and never chase after dropped items. Also, parents should remind children of these school bus safety tips:
· Wait for the bus in a safe place away from traffic.
· No horseplay at the bus stop.
· Wait until the bus and other traffic comes to a complete stop before approaching the bus.
· ALWAYS CROSS IN FRONT OF THE BUS, THE DRIVER SHOULD ALWAYS BE ABLE TO SEE YOU.
· When on the bus remain seated and talk quietly so the bus driver will not be distracted.
It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure our children are able to safely travel to and from school. Citizens are encouraged to report anyone observed disregarding a school bus arm by calling the Lake Station Police Department. It is my hope that proper information will lead to knowledge and informed decisions.