I think it’s safe to say all of us have felt heartbroken and frustrated at the increasing number of accidents that have taken place near a school bus or school bus stop. It is difficult to understand how anyone can pass a school bus that has an extended Stop Arm and flashing red lights, putting children’s lives in danger. It is unfathomable that drivers are distracted to the point that they hit children waiting at the bus stop. The sheer number of these types of accidents leaves us feeling overwhelmed and wondering what we can do to help. Here are three simple suggestions for putting an end to Stop Arm violations in your school district.
1. Educate parents by including reminders regarding school bus safety and laws in your school newsletters, E-newsletters, etc. Use the school marquee to post simple sayings such as “Be aware and drive with care.” Don’t forget to involve your local parent organization as well!
2. Involve civic groups in your area, such as the Rotary Club or Chamber of Commerce. If you’re comfortable with public speaking, request an invitation to speak on behalf of bus drivers and ask for the group’s support in your campaign to improve bus safety.
3. Develop some type of “incident report” that police officers/school resource officers can use to follow up with individuals who choose to disregard a bus that is stopped while loading or unloading students. After all, it is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus with an extended stop arm!