School bus safety

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Good sense compels most motorists to slow down in highway construction zones, or take special precautions when they see the flashing lights of emergency vehicles, or exercise caution when school buses are loading and unloading students.

Unfortunately, there are too many motorists who don't exhibit good sense in these situations. As a result, state laws have been enacted to cover all these situations -- and more.

School bus drivers, in particular, can cite numerous examples of traffic violations. Despite the flashing yellow lights, the red lights and the stop sign that swings out from the bus, too many motorists either ignore all the warnings or don't know what state laws require.

It's simple.

When approaching a school bus with flashing yellow lights, motorists behind and in front of the bus should slow down and be prepared to stop. When the red lights come on and the stop sign comes out, motorists must stop -- and remain stopped -- until the bus driver turns off the red lights and pulls the stop sign back.

The fact that school buses and workbound commuters share streets and highways means many motorists need to allow extra time for safety stops. Those who ignore the warnings are putting the lives of children in jeopardy.

Bus drivers often report the license numbers of vehicles driven by motorists who flagrantly violate the law. But they shouldn't have to. Motorists should know the law and obey it.

-- Nevada Daily Mail