School has started and the large yellow buses are on the road once more.
Make sure to follow these rules to ensure the safety of the children and to avoid a ticket.
Last fall, after a string of accidents that involved vehicles hitting children at bus stops, Fenton Police Chief Jason Slater said removing distractions and focusing on the road is important.
In Fenton, passing a bus illegally can result in three points on your driver’s license and $220 in fines. This law is explained in Fenton’s municipal law section 257.682. The consequences can be much worse if a driver strikes and injures a child who’s crossing the road.
When buses slow down and amber lights flash on the overhead lights, drivers must slow and prepare for a stop.
Once the bus is stopped, the lights flash red. If motorists observe red flashing lights in both directions, they must stop no less than 20 feet from the bus. When red lights are turned off, drivers can proceed.
School buses also have yellow hazard warning lights that may be active in the midsection of the bus. These mean proceed with caution.
These rules still apply for larger roads that have multiple lanes and no divider.
“The operator of a vehicle on a highway that has been divided into two roadways by leaving an intervening space, or by a physical barrier, or clearly indicated dividing sections so constructed as to impede vehicular traffic, is not required to stop upon meeting a school bus that has stopped across the dividing space, barrier, or section,” Slater said.
“There is no barrier or separation on North LeRoy (north of Wass Street) and as such all five lanes on N. LeRoy Street must stop if a bus activates its red overhead lights,” he said.
The Argentine Township Police Department shared rules on its Facebook page.
On Oct. 30, three children were struck and killed, and a fourth was injured, as they were waiting to get on the bus in Indiana. Three of them were siblings — two 6-year-old twin boys and their 9-year-old sister.
On Nov. 1, a 7-year-old boy was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while he was waiting for his school bus in Pennsylvania. The bus driver found the body and called 911.
That same day in Tampa, Florida, seven people, two adults and five children, were rushed to the hospital after a car struck students at a bus stop. None of the injuries were considered life-threatening.