By Julie Johansen
With school only one week in, Emery School District Transportation Supervisor Tracy Rowley would like to remind the public of safety rules regarding school buses. Already this school year, drivers are failing to stop when the red lights are flashing.
“Be aware of buses stopping to pick up and drop off students on the roads,” Rowley shared. “This has been an increasing problem as we have had many more cases of traffic running the red lights the last year over previous years.”
Continuing, Rowley said that alternating yellow lights on a school bus are used to alert traffic to use caution and slow down. These bus lights are no different than when yellow lights are flashing in a school zone. Traffic should slow to the speed of 20 miles per hour and be ready to stop if the lights turn red.
Alternating red lights indicate that all traffic flow past the bus is stopped and children could be crossing the street in front of the bus. There is a 12-foot safety zone around school buses, which means that no vehicle or pedestrian should ever be closer than this distance at any time except when students enter or exit the bus.
“Remember that failure to stop for a bus when lights are flashing is illegal and could lead to citations,” Rowley said.
There are also crosswalk concerns. Traffic should not enter the crosswalk when the crossing guards are still in the crosswalk. Oftentimes when there are two lanes of traffic, the first lane stops and the pedestrian starts to walk across, but the vehicle in the second lane does not stop. Rowley explained this has led to a few close calls.
To conclude, Rowley urged drivers to be cautious of students waiting at the bus pick up and drop off locations.