Drivers need to be mindful of school kids

(KAKE) -

With the start of a new school year, things are busy on the road.

It’s an important time for parents to reminder their little ones to stick to crosswalks and pay attention before getting on board, said Renee Boydo First Student Training Center Manager.

BUS SAFETY FOR KIDS

One common problem is when students walk out of the sight of drivers. All First Student buses have an arm that extend from the front of the bus, reminding kids to step far enough away so they can be seen.

“Right here, it's what we call the blind spot for children,” Boydo said. “If your child passes right in front, the driver's not able to see you. So, we have this stop arm that comes out and it allows your child to stay far enough away from where they cross in front, where the driver can see them and they can safely get on or off the bus.”

REMINDER FOR DRIVERS

As kids focus on learning lessons in school, it’s also a good time to give drivers a crash-course on safety, Boydo said.

First Student participated in a survey last year, where it monitored driving behaviors for more than a month. It found 100 Wichita drivers passed a school bus illegally every day.

When a school bus stops and activates its stop arm, you must stop. According to state law, the only exception is when there’s a divided highway or median that separates traffic; turn lanes and large roads do not count.

“Especially on those big, four-lane roads,” Boydo said. “You've got Harry. You've got Rock Road. They're large, they're very, very busy on a morning commute. You must stop, even if you're a few lanes over from the school bus. We have many children who actually have to cross some of those roads to get on the bus.

Boydo said people will want to factor in extra drive time to their commute due to the school year starting, construction and other factors that can slow them down.

“It's going to get even more confusing with the construction that's going on so it's even more important to pay attention when you see a yellow bus, and again, maintain that proper following distance,” she said.